Toxicity testing with luminescent bacteria - Characterization of an automated method for the combined assessment of acute and chronic effects

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


The luminescent bacteria test according to EN ISO 11348 is frequently applied in (eco) toxicity testing and is applicable for a huge variety of environmental and industrial samples. A big disadvantage of this method is the very short exposure time, which is expressed in a low sensitivity in regard to substances with a delayed effect. Chronic effects, i.e. interference with cell growth, cannot be assessed with this conventional standard method. The goal of this research was to develop an automated testing system for long term toxicity towards the luminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri by implementing microtitration-based instrumentation. The optimized method, hereinafter referred to as "kinetic luminescent bacteria test", can be described as a miniaturized combination of the conventional short-term luminescence inhibition test according to EN ISO 11348 and the Photobacterium phosphoreum growth inhibition test (DIN 38412-37). The validation procedure included the evaluation of six reference compounds (3,4-Dichloroaniline, 3,5-Dichlorophenol, Chloramphenicol, Streptomycin sulfate, Potassium dichromate, Zinc sulfate heptahydrate) and three different endpoints that are acute luminescence inhibition (acute LI) after 30 min, chronic luminescence inhibition (chronic LI) after 24 h and growth inhibition (GI) after 14 h. The optimized method allows the assessment of acute and chronic effects within one test, by what a misinterpretation of the toxicity of substances with delayed bacterial toxicity can be prevented, without abandoning most of the advantages of the conventional short-term test. Therefore, the kinetic luminescent bacteria test is exceptional as an initial screening test for environmental samples or substances with unknown (eco) toxicological characteristics.
Seiten (von - bis)990-996
Anzahl der Seiten7
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 10.2013