Luminescent bacteria test according to ISO 11348

Luminescent bacteria are the test organisms of choice for fast and precise detection of toxic effects of liquids and solid matter. For more than twenty years luminescent bacteria are used for toxicity testing of water samples and material extracts, described in the normative reference EN ISO 11348-1 to -3:


 "Determination of the inhibitory effect of water samples on the light emission of Vibrio fischeri /Aliivibrio fischeri (Luminescent bacteria test)."

The luminescent bacteria transform a fraction of the energy of metabolism into visible light. The intensity of light emission is directly correlated to their vitality. In contact with toxic substances the luminescence intensity is diminished dependant of the concentration of this substance. The luminescence intensity is measured using a luminometer. The luminometry has a very low detection limit of toxic substances and allows for precise and quantitative measurement of the cell vitality of these bacteria. By using very high concentrations of the luminescent bacteria (more than 1 billion per test batch) these toxicity test data are highly reproducible with very low test-to-test variation.


The luminescent bacteria test is used for a wide range of different toxicological applications:

  • fast testing of toxicological effects of new materials, surface treatments, sterilization processes, adhesive bonds etc. of medical devices, textiles and consumer products.
  • cross-validation tests of materials with competitive products
  • batch testing for toxicological quality control of production processes
  • toxicological analysis of water, soil and waste water samples

Please request an offer for toxicological testing with luminescent bacteria at info[at]cytox.de.