Table 3.

Mechanism of antimicrobial action of glutaraldehyde

Target microorganismGlutaraldehyde action
Bacterial sporesLow concentrations inhibit germination; high concentrations are sporicidal, probably as a consequence of strong interaction with outer cell layers
MycobacteriaAction unknown, but probably involves mycobacterial cell wall
Other nonsporulat-ing bacteria  Strong association with outer layers of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria; cross-linking of amino groups in protein; inhibition of transport processes into cell
FungiFungal cell wall appears to be a primary target site, with postulated interaction with chitin
VirusesActual mechanisms unknown, but involve protein-DNA cross-links and capsid changes
ProtozoaMechanism of action not known