A method of optimising slime production produced by Staphylococcus epidermis and its quantitative assay was developed, which gave a preliminary indication of its identity and an assessment of the correlation between slime production and adherence of the organism to implants. After inducing vigorous growth in brain heart infusion broth to stationary phase, all nutrients were removed by washing and the organisms resuspended in sterile deionised water with added magnesium. After further incubation the culture was centrifuged and the supernatant reacted with alcian blue in 50 mM magnesium chloride/sodium acetate solution, and the amount of bound dye was measured spectrophotometrically at 620 nm after its resolubilisation using sodium dodecyl sulphate. Large quantities of slime were produced by some, but not all, strains. Preliminary electrophoresis of the slime showed mobility and staining similar to that of the glycosaminoglycans. Adherence was tested by growing strains in wells of tissue culture plates and aspirating the supernatant after incubation. After fixation and staining of adherent growth the amount of bound stain was determined spectrophotometrically after its elution with ethanol. In this series of organisms there was no correlation between the result of tests for adherence or production of extracellular slime, and no correlation between either of these and the clinical source of the organisms.
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