Determination of Aerobic and Anaerobic Microflora of Human Feces

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Report Number: AMRL TR 64-107
Author(s): Gall, Lorraine S., Riely, Phyllis E.
Corporate Author(s): Republic Aviation Corporation
Laboratory: Biomedical Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1964-10
Pages: 86
Contract: AF 33(615)-1748
DoD Project: 7164
DoD Task: 716405
Identifier: AD0609325

The purpose of this study was the determination of the aerobic and anaerobic microflora of human feces and any effect, real or relative, of a space-type diet upon this flora. Fecal specimens from four young men confined in an experimental activity facility were cultured both aerobically and anaerobically thirteen times during a six-week period. During certain periods the men wore space suits. Two of the men were on an experimental space-type diet which was freeze-dehydrated. During this same time period the other two subjects were on a 'control' diet which contained identical foods, fresh and canned, in order to duplicate as nearly as possible the dehydrated diet from a nutritional viewpoint. Midway in the experiment the diets of the subjects were switched. The procedures used emphasized the anaerobic isolation of the predominating microorganisms using Gall's specialized technique. The aerobes were isolated and identified by standard procedures. An attempt was made to roughly quantitate the flora by the use of triplicate aerobic dilution series and by the plating from each dilution into differential media. Although the obligately anaerobic character of the flora remained constant, a shift was found in the types of anaerobic organisms isolated. This change in the biochemically distinct flora occurred after a sufficiently lengthy period on the diet to suggest that the diet was a contributing factory.

Provenance: RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine

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