Cultivation-independent assessment of bacterial viability

Frederik Hammes, Michael Berney, Thomas Egli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cultivation-independent assessment of bacterial viability is essential when (1) results are required fast and at high throughput, and/or (2) when the specific target or mode-of-action of a certain bactericidal process is of interest, and/or (3) when the organisms under investigation are regarded as "uncultivable". However, aside from cultivation, there exists no "silver bullet" method that demonstrates with absolute certainty whether an organism is alive or dead, and all currently available methods are prone to produce varying results with different organisms and in different environments. Here we discuss the fundamental concept of viability in bacteria, with specific focus on the main aspects that define it. It is argued that the presence of intact and functional nucleic acids, as well as an intact and polarized cytoplasmic membrane are essential components of cellular viability, while numerous other parameters and processes that are linked to viability are explored. Different methods/approaches are discussed with particular emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, the applicability of the methods toward environmental samples, and the underlying link between the various viability parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
Pages123-150
Number of pages28
Volume124
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
Volume124
ISSN (Print)07246145

Fingerprint

Microbial Viability
Nucleic acids
Nucleic Acids
Bacteria
Throughput
Membranes
Cell Membrane

Keywords

  • Activity
  • Bacteria
  • Flow cytometry
  • Membrane potential
  • Viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Cite this

Hammes, F., Berney, M., & Egli, T. (2011). Cultivation-independent assessment of bacterial viability. In Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology (Vol. 124, pp. 123-150). (Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology; Vol. 124). https://doi.org/10.1007/10_2010_95

Cultivation-independent assessment of bacterial viability. / Hammes, Frederik; Berney, Michael; Egli, Thomas.

Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology. Vol. 124 2011. p. 123-150 (Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology; Vol. 124).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Hammes, F, Berney, M & Egli, T 2011, Cultivation-independent assessment of bacterial viability. in Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology. vol. 124, Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, vol. 124, pp. 123-150. https://doi.org/10.1007/10_2010_95
Hammes F, Berney M, Egli T. Cultivation-independent assessment of bacterial viability. In Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology. Vol. 124. 2011. p. 123-150. (Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology). https://doi.org/10.1007/10_2010_95
Hammes, Frederik ; Berney, Michael ; Egli, Thomas. / Cultivation-independent assessment of bacterial viability. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology. Vol. 124 2011. pp. 123-150 (Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology).
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