Weight and Morphology of Bacteria Exposed to Antibiotics

  • V. Lorian
  • W. Tosch
  • D. Joyce


Exposure of bacteria to sub-MIC of various beta-lactam and other antibiotics results in morphologic alterations including a substantial increase in size. Staphylococci change into large cells with a diameter of 2–3 µm [1] and gram-negative bacilli grow into long filaments [2,3,4].


Antimicrob Agent Bacterial Mass Aminopenicillanic Acid Large Bacterium Respective Filament 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lorian V (1975) Some effects of subinhibitory concentrations of penicillin on the structure and division of staphylococci. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 7: 864–870PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gardner AD (1940) Morphological effects of penicillin on bacteria. Nature 146: 837–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zimmerman SB, Stapley O (1976) Relative morphological effects induced by cefoxitin and other beta-lactam antibiotics in vitro. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 9: 318PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lorian V, Sabath LD (1972) Penicillins and cephalosporins; differences in morphologic effects on Proteus mirabilis. J Infec Dis 125: 560–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lorian V (1980) Effects of subminimum inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics on bacteria. In: Lorian V (ed.) Antibiotics in laboratory medicine. Williams and Wilkins, Maryland, p 342–408Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Robinow CF (1944) Cytological observations on Bact. coli, Proteus vulgaris and various aerobic spore-forming bacteria with special reference to the nuclear structures. J Hygiene 43: 413–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Everson-Pearse AG (1972) Histochemistry theoretical and applied. Williams and Wilkins, Maryland, p 1186–1192Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bahr CF, Engler WF, Mazzone HM (1976) Determination of the mass of viruses by quantitative electron microscopy. Quarterly Revs Biophys 9: 459–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Scullard G, Meynell E (1966) Bacterial mass measured with the MRC greywedge photometer. J Pathol Bacteriol 91: 608–612PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lorian V, Atkinson B (1977) Comparison of the effects of mecillinam and 6- aminopenicillanic acid on Proteus mirabilis, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 11: 541–552PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Amaral L, Viano I, Atkinson B, Lorian V (1981) Development, replication, and reversion of mecillinam-induced ovoid form of Salmonella typhimurium. Curr Microbiol 5: 207–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lorian V, Atkinson B (1984) Bactericidal effect of polymorphonuclear leukocytes on antibiotic induced filaments of gram-negative bacilli. J Infect Dis 149: 719–727PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Lorian
    • 1
  • W. Tosch
    • 2
  • D. Joyce
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Department of PathologyThe Bronx Lebanon Hospital CenterBronxUSA
  2. 2.Ciba GeigyBaselSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations