Antibiotics pp 133-143 | Cite as

Determination of Bacterial Membrane Impairment by Antimicrobial Agents

  • Miriam Wilmes
  • Hans-Georg Sahl
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1520)


The bacterial cytoplasmic membrane separates the cell from its environment and acts as a selective permeability barrier. In addition, it functions in energy conservation, transport, and biosynthesis processes. Antimicrobial agents disrupting these functions may lead to pleiotropic effects, including leakage of low molecular weight compounds such as ions, amino acids and ATP, and subsequent membrane depolarization. This article describes two techniques to assess antibiotic-induced membrane impairment in vivo.

Key words

Membrane permeabilization Membrane potential Depolarization Tetraphenylphosphonium bromide Potassium efflux 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and ParasitologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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