AAT Bioquest

Is it easier to kill gram-positive bacteria than gram-negative bacteria?

Posted March 1, 2023


It is easier to kill gram-positive bacteria as compared to gram-negative bacteria. This is because gram-positive bacteria lack a hard protective outer layer. The peptidoglycan layer that surrounds gram-positive bacteria is capable of absorbing antibiotics and cleaning products, which are fatal to them. Gram-negative bacteria have a harder cell wall that makes them harder to kill. When their cell wall is disturbed, these bacteria release endotoxins, which can worsen existing symptoms. In addition, these microbes also have an additional outer membrane that selectively keeps antibiotic drugs from entering the organism. If any antibiotics do manage to get in, the cells usually pump them right back out.

Additional resources

Resistance of Gram-Negative Bacteria to Current Antibacterial Agents and Approaches to Resolve It

Gram Staining

MycoLight™ Dyes and Kits

MycoLight™ Rapid Fluorescence Gram-Positive Bacteria Staining Kit