Since bacteria, like other living cells, require a certain intake of nitrogenous material for the maintenance of the chemical structure of their protoplasm, and many of them are also able to utilize it for their energy needs, it is evident that the mediums in which they grow must contain end products of their nitrogen metabolism. Steps in the utilization of protein by bacteria are not in the gross dissimilar from those of the same process in the complex animal organism. They hydrolyze protein, so far as we know, in exactly the same manner as do the digestive ferments and are able ultimately to split off ammonia from the products of hydrolysis just as this is accomplished somewhere in the body. It is very interesting that besides ammonia another familiar end product of protein metabolism—urea—has been measured in appreciable amounts in cultures of bacteria which are normal or occasional inhabitants of
GAMBLE JL. THE AMMONIA AND UREA CONTENT OF INFANTS' STOOLSWITH A DESCRIPTION OF METHODS. Am J Dis Child. 1915;IX(6):519–532. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1915.04100480060006
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