AAT Bioquest

What are the common bacteria enumeration techniques?

Posted September 18, 2023


Bacteria enumerating techniques are used to determine approximately how many bacterial cells are present in a sample. The four most common bacterial enumeration techniques include: 

  1. Direct Cell Count: This process uses counting chambers to directly count the number of bacteria in a liquid media or colonies on a plate. 
  2. Indirect Cell Count: In this process, the plate count method is used to estimate the concentration of bacterial cells in a sample indirectly by quantifying bacterial colonies. 
  3. Viable Cell Count: This method focuses on counting only metabolically active bacterial cells that are actively growing in the culture medium. 
  4. Total Cell Count: The total number of bacterial cells, including metabolically active as well as metabolically inactive microbes are counted in this method. 
Additional resources

Schrödinger’s microbes: Tools for distinguishing the living from the dead in microbial ecosystems

Cell Viability Assays

MycoLight™ Fluorescence Live/Dead Bacterial Imaging Kit