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Degeneration of the gonococcus (in various media)

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The ultrastructure of the gonococcus cultivated in different synthetic media and inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of the mouse makes it possible to distinguish the various degenerative morphological states of the microbe.

A comparative study of phagocytosis and transformation of the gonococcus by leukocytes together with the changes observed in artificial media discloses a certain resemblance between the different stages of the progression towards L forms.

Reversion to normal forms is only possible if gonococcal degeneration has not reached an extreme point and if the new medium compensates for the unfavourable conditions which produced L transformation.


Die Ultrastruktur von Gonokokken, die in verschiedenen synthetischen Medien kultiviert und dann in dem Peritonialraum der Maus inokkuliert wurden, gibt die Möglichkeit die verschiedenen Degenerationsstadien der Gonokokken vom Strukturellen her zu beobachten. Eine vergleichende Studie der Phagocytose und Transformation der Gonokokken durch Leukocyten zusammen mit Veränderungen, die im Kulturmedium beobachtet wurden lassen eine gewisse Ähnlichkeit in der Entwicklung zu den L-Formen erkennen. Eine Reversibilität solcher Veränderungen ist nur dann zu erreichen wenn solche degenerativen Veränderungen nicht extrem vorhanden sind, und zusätzlich das Kulturmedium, in welches diese degenerierten Formen gegeben werden ein Kompensierungsmedium für die Faktoren darstellt, welche die L-Transformation verursacht haben.

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We acknowledge with gratitude the expert technical assistance of Mr. Pierre Carraux

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Olmos, L. Degeneration of the gonococcus (in various media). Arch. Derm. Res. 256, 305–317 (1976).

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  • Public Health
  • Microbe
  • Normal Form
  • Peritoneal Cavity
  • Extreme Point