I am looking for a protocol which can use to determine total number of both viable and non-viable Gram-positive bacterial cells. I have an idea by using crystal violet for the bacterial cells staining, incubate bacterial cells with 1% crystal violet and count under microscope. However, I notice not only bacterial cells were being stained, even other materials (such as sugar, maltodextrin) also being stained. Besides that, the bacterial cells are difficult to count using microscope, even is power 100x.
What do you think? Did anyone have any other counting method can suggest to me? Please advice.