Support & Resources


What stain can I use to differentiate bacterial cells from mammalian cells in a co-culture or infection model?

Ask a question

To date, we have not identified a fluorescent cellular stain that will detect bacteria but not mammalian cells with high specificity, or vice versa. While some mammalian cell stains show weak staining of bacteria, they usually do show some signal, and will frequently stain dead bacteria more intensely than live bacteria.

We offer a selection of antibodies for specific bacterial antigens, which potentially have applications for differential staining of bacteria vs. mammalian cells, but we have not validated them in co-culture models.

Also see our Viability PCR Technology Page to learn about how PMA dye can be used for highly specific detection of microbial cell viability in complex samples.

View more FAQs