Investigation into the production of bacteriostatic substances by fungi

II. A method for estimating the potency and specificity of the substances produced



A method is suggested for estimating the degree of potency and, to some extent, the specificity of bacteriostatic substances produced by fungi. It is based on the examination of several hundred fungi over a period of 2 years. It consists essentially of the placing of a few drops of the substance to be tested in the centre of a plate of bacteria-incorporated agar with the consequent production of a zone of inhibition which varies in width in proportion to the concentration of the bacteriostatic substance. The test is made against two representative types of bacteria—Bact. coli and Staph, aureus. The permissible technical latitude in the application of the test has been summarized. By using a standard inhibitor (mercuric chloride) the accuracy of the method has been statistically proved. This ‘zonation’ method has been compared with the standard ‘dilution’ method and close correlation has been established.