Susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to weak acids

Ying Zhang, Hao Zhang, Zhonghe Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis to a range of weak acids and acid pH was investigated. M. tuberculosis was found to be more susceptible to acid pH and weak acids than M. smegmatis. The weak acids were more active against M. tuberculosis at acid pH than at neutral pH. M. tuberculosis was found to be less able to maintain its internal pH and membrane potential at acid pH than M. smegmatis. The antituberculous activity of weak acids correlated with their ability to disrupt the membrane potential but not the internal pH. The significance of these findings is discussed in relation to M. tuberculosis physiology and development of new antituberculous agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Antimicrobial susceptibility
  • Membrane potential
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Wead acid
  • pH homeostasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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