Current Microbiology

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 474–482 | Cite as

Crystal Violet and XTT Assays on Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Quantification

  • Zhenbo XuEmail author
  • Yanrui Liang
  • Shiqi Lin
  • Dingqiang Chen
  • Bing Li
  • Lin Li
  • Yang Deng


Staphylococcus aureus (S. Aureus) is a common food-borne pathogenic microorganism. Biofilm formation remains the major obstruction for bacterial elimination. The study aims at providing a basis for determining S. aureus biofilm formation. 257 clinical samples of S. aureus isolates were identified by routine analysis and multiplex PCR detection and found to contain 227 MRSA, 16 MSSA, 11 MRCNS, and 3 MSCNS strains. Two assays for quantification of S. aureus biofilm formation, the crystal violet (CV) assay and the XTT (tetrazolium salt reduction) assay, were optimized, evaluated, and further compared. In CV assay, most isolates formed weak biofilm 74.3 %), while the rest formed moderate biofilm (23.3 %) or strong biofilm (2.3 %). However, most isolates in XTT assay showed weak metabolic activity (77.0 %), while the rest showed moderate metabolic activity (17.9 %) or high metabolic activity (5.1 %). In this study, we found a distinct strain-to-strain dissimilarity in terms of both biomass formation and metabolic activity, and it was concluded from this study that two assays were mutual complementation rather than being comparison.


Extracellular Polymeric Substance Crystal Violet Latex Agglutination Test Crystal Violet Assay Food Poisoning Case 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge the National 973-Plan of China (2012CB720800), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31201362 & 31101278), the International Science & Technology Cooperation Program (2013B051000014), the National Science and Technology Support Program (2012BAD37B01), the National Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Funding (201459), the Guangdong Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Funding (K3140030) andthe Open Project Program of State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University (Dr. Zhenbo Xu, 2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenbo Xu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Yanrui Liang
    • 1
  • Shiqi Lin
    • 1
  • Dingqiang Chen
    • 3
  • Bing Li
    • 1
  • Lin Li
    • 1
  • Yang Deng
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Food Science and TechnologySouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical ScienceUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory MedicineFirst Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.College of Light Industry and Food ScienceSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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