SUMMARY: Proflavine in the post-aerosolization plating medium lowered by over 80% the number of viable B/R organisms recovered from aerosols of 55% relative humidity (RH) and above, but had no effect on the recovery of viable WP2 organisms. Oxygen enhanced the lethal action of semi-dehydration on strain B/R, held at 50% RH and below, but had less effect on the survival of WP2. In addition, B/R organisms displayed an increased rate of respiration, and discharged 260 mμ absorbing material, when held at intermediate values of RH. These phenomena were not observed with WP2 organisms. Thus B/R seems to possess an energy consuming mechanism by which it is able to survive semi-dehydration above 55% RH by a discharge of damaged cell components. This mechanism is very slowly destroyed when the organisms are semi-dehydrated in nitrogen but, below 50% RH, it is rapidly inactivated by oxygen. It is suggested that the mechanism is a membrane-bound system, possibly involving the cytochrome chain.


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