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Effect of Dietary Factors upon the Resistance of Albino Mice to Experimental Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis

  • Herbert W. Layton
  • Guy P. Youmans
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1965
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Layton, Herbert W. (Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill.), and Guy P. Youmans. Effect of dietary factors upon the resistance of albino mice to experimental infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J. Bacteriol. 90:958–964. 1965.—Each of the major nutritional components of a synthetic diet was quantitatively altered to determine its effect upon the resistance of albino mice to infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The animals were challenged after the first 2 weeks of feeding, and the percentage that survived acute death was determined statistically. The level of protein which provided the greatest percentage of survival was 30%; increases or decreases from this level were detrimental. The optimal fat level was found to be 5% for either corn oil or coconut oil. Survival decreased when greater amounts of oil were added, and this effect was especially marked for 40% coconut oil. Vitamin A enhanced survival when increased from the normal level of 20,000 units per kg of diet to 160,000 units, but further increases were harmful. An amount of 75 g/kg of a vitamin B complex mixture afforded optimal resistance, but 25-g shifts in either direction lowered this resistance. Vitamin K-free diets resulted in high levels of survival, and addition of the vitamin resulted in proportional decreases in resistance.


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