What is microbial antagonism?


Quick Answer

Microbial antagonism is the method of using established cultures of microorganisms to prevent the intrusion of foreign strains. When introduced to an already-colonized environment, an invasive strain of bacteria tends not to thrive and may go completely extinct.

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What is microbial antagonism?
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Full Answer

An example of microbial antagonism in the human body is the resistance of established mouth bacteria to new strains that can be introduced via mouth-to-mouth contact. After a kiss, for example, new bacteria are introduced into the hostile environment of a foreign mouth. Once there, the invasive bacteria's growth is inhibited by antimicrobial compounds secreted by the native flora, as well as by the tight competition for resources.

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