A kinetic approach to bacterial adherence to hydrocarbon

Dov Lichtenberg, Mel Rosenberg*, Nellie Sharfman, Itzhak Ofek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons has been widely employed to study bacterial hydrophobicity, quantitative criteria for the assay are not well established. In the present report, adherence of Streptococcus pyogenes to hexadecane was studied as a function of time, and water: hexadecane ratio. Adherence of cells as a function of mixing time was exponential, yielding a slope for each hexadecane volume employed. The values for slopes of the curves obtained increased linearly with increasing hydrocarbon: water ratios. The slope of the latter curve, referred to as the 'removal coefficient' was 376 min-1 for S. pyogenes. The data suggest that the proposed kinetic approach may provide a quantitative measurement of bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 1985


  • Adherence
  • Cell surface
  • Hexadecane
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrophobicity
  • Streptococcus pyogenes


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