Effect of alcohol on bacterial hemolysis

Natali Shirron, Moshe Korem, Amir Shuster, Alicia Leikin-Frenkel, Mel Rosenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hemolysis of blood agar is broadly used as a diagnostic tool for identifying and studying pathogenic microorganisms. We have recently shown that alcohol vapors can confer hemolytic properties on otherwise nonhemolytic fungi (microbial alcohol-conferred hemolysis; MACH). Until now, this phenomenon has been found in various yeast strains and other fungi, but only in a few bacterial species (e.g., staphylococci). In the current study we (1) determined the extent of the above phenomenon in various Gram-positive and Gram-negative laboratory bacterial strains and in clinical bacterial isolates, (2) validated the observed hemolysis using a quantitative technique, and (3) provided evidence that the observed alcohol-mediated hemolysis may, at least in part, be related to synthesis of hemolytic lipids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-325
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


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