Many sporulation media have been developed for Clostridium perfringens, but none stimulates sporulation for all strains. The aim of our experiments was to develop a sporulation method using Duncan and Strong (DS) medium, which supports sporulation of a wide variety of strains. Different inoculation levels were tested, and the effects of sporulation-promoting substances and acid shock were evaluated. Furthermore, DS medium was compared with other sporulation media. Highest spore numbers in DS medium were obtained with a 10% 24-h fluid thioglycollate broth inoculum (5.0 × 105/ml). Addition of theophylline and replacement of starch by raffinose increased spore yields for some strains, but most strains were not affected (average increases in log N/ml of 0.2 and 0.3, respectively). One strain was enhanced by the addition of bile, but other strains were strongly inhibited (average decrease in log N/ml of 2.5); agar did not influence sporulation. Neither short-time acid exposure nor addition of culture supernatant fluids of well-sporulating strains resulted in higher spore numbers in DS medium. None of the tested methods enhanced sporulation in general; only strain-dependent effects were obtained. Peptone bile theophylline medium was the most promising sporulation medium tested; peptone bile theophylline starch medium yielded highest spore numbers (2.5 × 105/ml), but some strains failed to sporulate. In conclusion, adding theophylline to DS medium may optimize sporulation of C. perfringens, but peptone bile theophylline medium with or without starch is most suitable.

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