This paper describes a model that relates the actual effect measured in the Salmonella test, i.e., the number of revertant colonies, to the mutation rate induced by a stable test compound having no side effects and acting without a time-lag. A maximum-likelihood estimator for the mutation rate is derived. Furthermore some side effects (mortality, increase in generation time, other mutations) are included in more extensive models. Side effects can cause a non-linear dose-response relation. Factors delaying the effect of the compound lead to an apparently higher mutation rate if a higher histidine dose is applied or a smaller inoculum is used. Factors slowly decreasing the effect of the compound reverse this result. Secondary effects of the test compound on the bacteria result in a non-linear dose-response relationship. © 1990.
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