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.
- Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
- Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology
- Bacillus subtilis