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Print version ISSN 0123-9392


VASQUEZ-GIRALDO, Daniel Felipe; LIBREROS-ZUNIGA, Gerardo Andrés  and  CRESPO-ORTIZ, María del Pilar. Effects of biocide exposure on P. Aeruginosa, E. coli and A. Baumannii complex isolates from hospital and household environments. Infect. [online]. 2017, vol.21, n.4, pp.243-250. ISSN 0123-9392.


Bacterial responses to biocide exposure and its effects on survival and persistence remain to be studied in greater detail.


To analyse the viability and survival of environmental isolates from household and hospital settings after biocide exposure.


The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of chlorhexidine (CHxG), benzalkonium chloride (BAC) and triclosan (TC) were determined in isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii complex and Escherichia coli collected from hospital and house- holds environments. Viability was monitored after exposure and removal of biocides using agar cultures and flow cytometry.


P. aeruginosa isolates showed greater tolerance for all biocides tested whereas A. baumannii complex and E. coli were less tolerant. When compared with reference strains, biocide tolerance was up to 8 to 13-fold higher for TC and BAC respectively. Flow cytometry showed that biocide exposure may induce viable but non-growing states in P. aeruginosa and E. coli isolates before becoming fully replicative. Changes in the susceptibility profile in one isolate of A. baumannii complex were observed after biocide exposure.


Bacteria isolates from hospital and households were able to recover after biocide exposure at bactericidal concentrations favouring persistence and spread of biocide-tolerant strains. This study reinforces that cleaning compliance should be monitored by non-culture based tests. Novel formulations in cleaning and disinfection protocols should be revisited in hospitals harbouring P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii multidrug resistant isolates.

Keywords : A. baumannii; flow cytometry; P. aeruginosa; biocidal activity; resistance..

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