Classification of antimicrobial mechanism of action using dynamic bacterial morphology imaging

Xudong Ouyang, Jelmer Hoeksma, Ronnie J M Lubbers, Tjalling K Siersma, Leendert W Hamoen, Jeroen den Hertog

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to human health. Basic knowledge of antimicrobial mechanism of action (MoA) is imperative for patient care and for identification of novel antimicrobials. However, the process of antimicrobial MoA identification is relatively laborious. Here, we developed a simple, quantitative time-lapse fluorescence imaging method, Dynamic Bacterial Morphology Imaging (DBMI), to facilitate this process. It uses a membrane dye and a nucleoid dye to track the morphological changes of single Bacillus subtilis cells in response to antimicrobials for up to 60 min. DBMI of bacterial cells facilitated assignment of the MoAs of 14 distinct, known antimicrobial compounds to the five main classes. We conclude that DBMI is a simple method, which facilitates rapid classification of the MoA of antimicrobials in functionally distinct classes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11162
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2022


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Humans


Dive into the research topics of 'Classification of antimicrobial mechanism of action using dynamic bacterial morphology imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this