Antibiotics pp 107-118 | Cite as

Cytotoxicity Assays as Predictors of the Safety and Efficacy of Antimicrobial Agents

  • Alexander Zipperer
  • Dorothee Kretschmer
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1520)


The development of safe antimicrobial agents is important for the effective treatment of pathogens. From a multitude of discovered inhibitory compounds only few antimicrobial agents are able to enter the market. Many antimicrobials are, on the one hand, quite effective in killing pathogens but, on the other hand, cytotoxic to eukaryotic cells. Cell health can be monitored by various methods. Plasma membrane integrity, DNA synthesis, enzyme activity, and reducing conditions within the cell are known indicators of cell viability and cell death. For a comprehensive overview, methods to analyze cytotoxic and hemolytic effects, e.g., lactate dehydrogenase release, cell proliferation analysis, cell viability analysis, and hemolysis assay of antimicrobial compounds on human cells, are described in this chapter.

Key words

Cytotoxicity assay Lactate dehydrogenase release Resazurin-based cell viability assay Cell proliferation reagent WST-1 Hemolysis assay 



This work was supported by grants from the German Research Council (SFB685, SFB766, TRR156, and PE805/5-1, to A.P.; TRR34, to A.P. and D.K.) and the Fortüne Program of the Medical Faculty, University of Tübingen (to D.K.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infection Biology, Interfaculty Institute for Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen(IMIT)University of TübingenTübingenGermany

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