Tubercle wax is the name applied to fatty and waxy substances extracted from tubercle bacilli with fat solvents such as alcohol, ether, benzol, chloroform, etc.

Historical and Nature of Tubercle Wax. Hammerschlag was first to show that tubercle bacilli contained a large amount of fatty and waxy substances, and that in this respect they differ from other vegetable microörganisms. De Schweinitz and Dorset confirmed Hammerschlag's results, and since then a great deal of attention has been paid to this subject. All investigators agree that it is difficult to extract the fatty substances entirely, and that the amount is influenced by the culture media upon which the bacilli are grown and by other factors mentioned below. Proskauer and Beck have demonstrated that bacilli cultivated on fat free media are also able to produce wax, although in smaller amount (10 per cent of dried bacillary substance).

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