A possible symbiotic relationship in Trichophyton



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In an attempt to discover the reasons for the lack of effectiveness of the fatty acids in certain cases where these substances were used to combat dermatomycosis pedis, the possibility of the acquisition of resistance by the organism to the fatty acid was presented. The paper was originally dedicated to that intent through the use of Trichophyton mentagrophytes with undecylenlc acid, but when no such response could be elicited, other factors were investigated instead. The presence of an antibacterial substance in honey had been reported, and in an effort to substantiate this report, investigations were made to show the effect of different types of heat used to sterilize the honey on the prediction of growth of Trichophyton. The results of these experiments did not give added support to the theory of the presence of an antibacterial substance, but did display the possibility that fatty acids present in the beeswax remaining in the honey could be released by heat to give an additive effect with the undecylenate already present. The varying degrees of heat used in the experiments exposed a contaminant; this organism was characterized, its inhibition pattern studied both alone and in mixed culture with Trichophyton. Trichophyton mentagrophytes and this contaminating bacillus, when grown in mixed culture on different concentrations of undecylenate exhibited a symbiotic relationship, in that together they were able to withstand a greater concentration than either of the organisms were able to do alone. The major Indications are that such a symbiotic relationship might have considerable bearing on disease and its treatment, and that greater effort should be expended in the study of an organism surrounded by its natural environment, rather than in pure culture.