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Table 1 Bacteria quantification methods

From: A method for high throughput determination of viable bacteria cell counts in 96-well plates

Method Range of detection Time to obtain results Distinguishes live vs. dead Persisters included in quantification Applications Equipment needed Count affected by minor bacterial clumps
CFU count Unlimited Days Yes Yes Determination of absolute bacterial number None Yes
Absorbance 108–1010 bacteria/mL Immediate No No Follow growth curves Spectrophotometer or plate reader No
Microscopy Unlimited Minutes Yes, with staining No Determination of absolute bacterial number Microscope No
Flow cytometry > ~5000 Minutes Yes, with staining Yes, if not below detection Determination of absolute bacterial number FACS Yes
MBRT [2] > ~107 Hours Yes No (metabolically quiescent cells missed) MIC and MAC determination Spectrophotometer No
SGT Unlimited Hours Yes Yes HTS, persister Quantification Plate reader No