Optimization and validation of a colorimetric assay for Tetrahymena sp. survival

Dina Zilberg, Tamar Sinai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Scopus citations


    A colorimetric assay based on the reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2h-tetrazolium bromide (MTT), for the quantification of Tetrahymena sp. survival is described. An increase in the concentration of Tetrahymena sp. cells from 0 to 1 × 106   cells / ml produced a linear ( R2 = 0.9965) increase in the optical density (OD, 570-630 nm), and dead cells (pre-exposed to 250 mg/l formalin for 4 h) did not produce a background reading. Cells exposed to sublethal concentrations to formalin (100 mg/l or less for 4 h) recovered their growth. Using the MTT assay, we determined that Tetrahymena sp. is sensitive to formalin, chloramine-T, hydrogen peroxide, copper sulfate and NaCl. The sensitivity increased with increasing chemical concentrations and exposure time. Tetrahymena sp. was resistant to bromex and malachite green. The use of this assay in drug screening for the development of treatments for tetrahymenosis and as a bioassay to evaluate the toxicity of environmental toxicants is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-359
    Number of pages5
    JournalResearch in Microbiology
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 May 2006


    • Chemicals
    • MTT
    • Survival assay
    • Tetrahymena
    • Treatment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology
    • Molecular Biology


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