Antibacterial effect of protamine assayed by impedimetry

Charlotte Johansen, T. Gill, Lone Gram

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Impedimetric measurements were used to assay the antibacterial effect of protamine. A good linear correlation between the impedance detection time and the initial cell counts was obtained (r = 0 . 99, n = 2). As basic peptides may cause clumping of cells, this correlation curve was used when estimating the cell number after protamine treatment, rather than colony counts. Protamine from salmon killed growing Gram- positive bacteria and significantly inhibited growth of Gram- negative bacteria in Tryptone Soy Broth (TSB) at 25 degrees C. In general Gram-positive bacteria were more sensitive to protamine than Gram-negative bacteria; the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIG) determined for Gram-positive strains varied from 20 to 1000 mu g ml(-1) and for Gram-negative strains from 500 mu g ml(-1) to more than 4000 mu g ml(-1). The effect of protamine on non-growing Listeria monocytogenes Scott A suspended in buffer was not lethal as was the effect on growing cells; however, protamine (50-500 mu g ml(-1)) killed the Gram-negative fish spoilage bacteria Shewanella putrefaciens when the live cells were suspended in buffer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Bacteriology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)297-303
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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