Parallel evolutionary pathways to antibiotic resistance selected by biocide exposure

Mark A. Webber*, Rebekah N. Whitehead, Manuella Mount, Nick J. Loman, Mark J. Pallen, Laura J.V. Piddock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Biocides are widely used to prevent infection. We aimed to determine whether exposure of Salmonella to various biocides could act as a driver of antibiotic resistance. Methods: Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium was exposed to four biocides with differing modes of action. Antibiotic-resistant mutants were selected during exposure to all biocides and characterized phenotypically and genotypically to identify mechanisms of resistance. Results: All biocides tested selected MDR mutants with decreased antibiotic susceptibility; these occurred randomly throughout the experiments. Mutations that resulted in de-repression of the multidrug efflux pump AcrAB-TolC were seen in MDR mutants. A novel mutation in rpoA was also selected and contributed to the MDR phenotype. Other mutants were highly resistant to both quinolone antibiotics and the biocide triclosan. Conclusions: This study shows that exposure of bacteria to biocides can select for antibiotic-resistant mutants and this is mediated by clinically relevant mechanisms of resistance prevalent in human pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2241-2248
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume70
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Disinfectant
  • Efflux
  • MDR

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