Evaluation of Staphylococcus aureus Antibiotic Tolerance Using Kill Curve Assays

Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2341:45-54. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1550-8_7.


This chapter describes the use of antibiotic kill curves to examine the tolerance of Staphylococcus aureus to any antibiotic of interest. This is done by treating cultures with a super-minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of antibiotic and measuring viability over time by colony-forming units (CFUs). Kill curves provide a unique insight into S. aureus antibiotic tolerance and death patterns that may not be clear from other experiments, such as traditional MIC or Kirby-Bauer assays.

Keywords: Antibiotic tolerance; CFU; Cell death; MIC; Persistence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microbial Viability / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents