SUMMARY: Some capsulated group A and group C streptococci were found to produce both hyaluronic acid and hyaluronidase during active growth; thus confirming and extending the work of Pike (1948 ). In a group C strain, LM, the free hyaluronic acid in liquid culture represents an excess of synthesis over destruction, the balance being influenced by the aeration of the culture. Within the limits examined the degree of aeration did not, however, influence hyaluronidase or hyaluronic acid production by strains producing either the enzyme or its substrate exclusively. A non-capsulated, hyaluronidase producing mutant of strain LM was isolated but capsulated cells, free from this variant, also produced the enzyme. Evidence is presented that the spreading activity of strain LM preparations in rabbit dermis is due to hyaluronidase rather than to capsular material as suggested by Pradhan (1937).


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