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January 1981

Effect of CSF on Bacterial Growth

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Jewish Hospital and Medical Center of Brooklyn, State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn.

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(1):43-45. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510010069012

• The growth patterns of five potentially pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, group B β-hemolytic streptococcus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae) and a commonly encountered, nonpathogenic microorganism (S epidermidis) were compared using CSF, trypticase soy broth (TSB), and a phosphate buffer. Each grew less in CSF than in TSB. Escherichia coli was least affected, with a median difference of 2 logarithms between CSF and TSB at 24 hours of growth, whereas S epidermidis was markedly inhibited, with a median difference of 6.85 logarithms. The differences among the remaining four organisms ranged from 3.86 to 5.94 logarithms, all significantly greater than that for E coli. Similar results were obtained at 48 hours of growth. The nonsupport of bacterial growth by CSF may constitute a host defense mechanism. The basis of these observations may be the presence of inhibitors or the absence of nutrients required for bacterial growth in the CSF.

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