Streptococcal and Staphylococcal L Forms in vivo
Final rept. 1 Oct 1966-31 Mar 1974
NEW MEXICO UNIV ALBUQUERQUE DEPT OF PEDIATRICS
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L forms are viable, reproducing bacterial variants, lacking cell wall components except the protoplast membrane. Interest in these variants stems from the possibility that they represent bacterial forms that persist, even in the presence of anti-cell wall antibiotics. These studies answered five questions regarding the role of L forms in these induced infections. First, these variants that appeared in vivo probably represented spontaneously occurring variants, and were not produced by host mechanisms such as lysosomal enzymes. Second, they appeared to survive in vivo in an osmotically unfavorable milieu because of some stabilizing substance in exudate, probably a polyamine. Third, penicillin did not induce L form production in vivo. Fourth, no evidence that L forms behave as bacterial persisters was found. Fifth, L forms themselves were non-infective.