This paper is based on a presentation given at the Royal Microscopical Meeting on Flow Cytometry in Microbiology in Cardiff, October 1993.
Viability assessment of bacteria in mixed populations using flow cytometry*
Article first published online: 2 AUG 2011
1995 Blackwell Science Ltd
Journal of Microscopy
Volume 179, Issue 1, pages 55–66, July 1995
How to Cite
CARON, G. N.-V. and BADLEY, R. A. (1995), Viability assessment of bacteria in mixed populations using flow cytometry. Journal of Microscopy, 179: 55–66. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.1995.tb03612.x
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 2 AUG 2011
- Received 18 November 1994; accepted 15 February 1995
- Flow cytometry;
- membrane potential;
- membrane integrity;
- antibiotic succeptibility;
- nucleic acid;
- enzyme activity;
- supravital stain;
In microbiology cells are called viable when they can be shown to proliferate. Due to long lag phases and the cells' sensitivity to the conditions around them, this definition presents problems when investigating stressed or injured cells. Colony counts only show reproduction, whilst direct single-cell investigation can divide the status of cells into four stages: (i) reproductive viable cells, (ii) vital cells, (iii) intact cells and (iv) dead cells.
Multicolour staining flow cytometry has been found to provide a powerful method for investigating these various states of viability. This is illustrated with examples with some emphasis on mixed bacterial populations.