Exposure to Sublethal Concentrations of Benzalkonium Chloride Induces Antimicrobial Resistance and Cellular Changes in Klebsiellae pneumoniae Clinical Isolates

This study investigated the effect on antimicrobial susceptibility and the cellular changes that occurred after exposure of Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates to sublethal concentrations of Benzalkonium chloride

Ahmed Abdelaziz; Fatma Sonbol; Tarek Elbanna; Engy El-Ekhnawy

2019

Scholarcy highlights

  • Benzalkonium chloride is widely used as a disinfectant and preservative
  • This study investigated the effect on antimicrobial susceptibility and the cellular changes that occurred after exposure of Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates to sublethal concentrations of BAC
  • Minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration of BAC were determined for the collected 50 K. pneumoniae clinical isolates by broth microdilution method, and the tested isolates were adapted to increasing sublethal concentrations of BAC
  • Most K. pneumoniae isolates that adapted to BAC showed increased antimicrobial resistance, various morphological and structural changes, increased membrane depolarization, and enhanced efflux activity
  • The findings of this study suggest that the extensive use of BAC at sublethal concentrations could contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in K. pneumoniae clinical isolates that might complicate the therapy of infections caused by this pathogen
  • The hazard associated with the prolonged exposure to sublethal concentrations of BAC represents a public health risk and it should be a focus in both hospital and community sanitation practices

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