Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Determination of colonization resistance of the digestive tract by biotyping of Enterobacteriaceae

H. Z. Apperloo-Renkemaa1, B. D. Van der Waaija1 and D. Van der Waaija1

a1 Laboratory for Medical Microbiology, State University of Groningen, Oostersingel 59, NL-9713 EZ Groningen, The Netherlands


In studies concerning the effect of antibiotics on faecal microflora, Colonization Resistance is an important parameter. Colonization Resistance correlates inversely with the number of different biotypes of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from faecal samples. Nine healthy volunteers were studied during 6 weeks, in order to determine the natural variation in the number of different biotypes of Enterobacteriaceae per faecal sample. The numbers of biotypes ranged from 1–15 per faecal sample, the mean number of biotypes varied between 2·6 and 7·3 different biotypes per faecal sample per healthy volunteer. Inter-individual variations of five biotypes in the mean number of biotypes per faecal sample are normal. We assessed the minimal number of faecal samples that should be taken for comprehensive biotyping so as to determine reliably the mean number of different biotypes representative for the Colonization Resistance of an individual. It was found that a minimum of four faecal samples was required.

(Accepted June 01 1990)