Variation with Age in the Resistance of Bacterial Cells


IN an article in Nature of April 28, p. 666, Sir Cyril Hinshelwood discusses some of the possible explanations for deviations from the logarithmic order of death sometimes shown among bacteria exposed to disinfecting agents. Where the final stages of decline are abnormally protracted (that is, where there is a resistant ‘tail’ of organisms), he suggests that the most obvious explanation would be the presence of some cells of abnormally high resistance, and that these might originate from the interruption of growth at the appropriate stage in the cell-cycle. He considers it possible that at certain phases in the growth of each individual cell there might be a stage of maximum resistance, possibly when the internal condition of the vegetative cell bears the maximum resemblance to a spore.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    J. Bact., 36, 83 (1938).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

WHITE, H. Variation with Age in the Resistance of Bacterial Cells. Nature 168, 828–829 (1951).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.