Summary: The conditions for induction of thymine deficiency by sulphonamides and their effect on viability were investigated in In minimal medium, sulphonamides led to a slight decrease in the viable count over a prolonged length of time. This decrease was more pronounced in Casamino acid supplemented medium. Concentrations of as low as 1 μg/ml of sulphamethoxazole or some other sulphonamides killed up to 99·9% of bacteria within 4 h after manifestation of inhibition in media supplemented by Casamino acids and inosine. No strict relation was found between sulphonamide concentration and the number of surviving bacteria. In all experiments sulphonamides exerted their effects after a time lag of 3 to 4 h. Addition of thymidine prevented death. Effects similar to those in media containing Casamino acids and inosine were demonstrated in growth medium containing human blood. The possible role of this kind of action of sulphonamides in chemotherapy is discussed.


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