RRC ID 70552
Author Nordholt N, Kanaris O, Schmidt SBI, Schreiber F.
Title Persistence against benzalkonium chloride promotes rapid evolution of tolerance during periodic disinfection.
Journal Nat Commun
Abstract Biocides used as disinfectants are important to prevent the transmission of pathogens, especially during the current antibiotic resistance crisis. This crisis is exacerbated by phenotypically tolerant persister subpopulations that can survive transient antibiotic treatment and facilitate resistance evolution. Here, we show that E. coli displays persistence against a widely used disinfectant, benzalkonium chloride (BAC). Periodic, persister-mediated failure of disinfection rapidly selects for BAC tolerance, which is associated with reduced cell surface charge and mutations in the lpxM locus, encoding an enzyme for lipid A biosynthesis. Moreover, the fitness cost incurred by BAC tolerance turns into a fitness benefit in the presence of antibiotics, suggesting a selective advantage of BAC-tolerant mutants in antibiotic environments. Our findings highlight the links between persistence to disinfectants and resistance evolution to antimicrobials.
Volume 12(1)
Pages 6792
Published 2021-11-23
DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-27019-8
PII 10.1038/s41467-021-27019-8
PMID 34815390
PMC PMC8611074
MeSH Acyltransferases Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology* Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use Benzalkonium Compounds / pharmacology Disinfectants / pharmacology* Disinfection / methods Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics* Escherichia coli / drug effects* Escherichia coli / genetics Escherichia coli Proteins Evolution, Molecular* Genetic Loci Microbial Sensitivity Tests
IF 12.121
Prokaryotes E. coli JW1844-AM JW2557-AM JW1844-KC BW25113