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How do bile salts inhibit gram-positive bacteria

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#1 czernobill



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Posted 19 July 2015 - 03:16 AM

Dear all,


I am aware that bile salts (or crystal violet) is used in agars to inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria but I am wondering what the mechanism is. From my biological understanding, the fact that bile emulsifies lipids to grant access for lipid-degrading enzymes leads to the conclusion that Gram-negative bacteria - due to its lipids in their outer membrane - should be more susceptible to bile salts.


How can bile salts inhibit Gram-positive bacteria instead of Gram- negative organisms.

And if they inhibit Gram-positives, why can gram-positive bacteria like Ruminococcus and Clostridium survive in human intestines??


Thank you very much for your help in this interesting field!

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