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Chlorine injury enhances antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa through over expression of drug efflux pumps

Hou, Ai-ming, Yang, Dong, Miao, Jing, Shi, Dan-yang, Yin, Jing, Yang, Zhong-wei, Shen, Zhi-qiang, Wang, Hua-ran, Qiu, Zhi-gang, Liu, Wei-li, Li, Jun-wen, Jin, Min
Water research 2019 v.156 pp. 366-371
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, ampicillin, antibiotic resistance, antioxidants, ceftazidime, chloramphenicol, chlorination, chlorine, enzymes, human health, lethal dose, oxidative stress, pathogens, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sodium hypochlorite, transporters
Adaption to adverse environments plays an important role in bacterial survival and is receiving increasing globe attention now. Here, cultivable chlorine-injured Pseudomonas aeruginosa, produced on the chlorination process, was investigated about their resistance to antibiotics. Then, global transcriptional analyses, quantitative PCR (qPCR) validation and antioxidant enzymes measurement were performed to explore the underlying mechanisms. The results showed that chlorine injury enhanced antibiotic resistance in P. aeruginosa and cultivable chlorine-injured P. aeruginosa exposed to 4 mg/L sodium hypochlorite (half of the lethal dose) improved antibiotic resistance against ceftazidime, chloramphenicol and ampicillin by 1.4–5.6 fold. This increase in antibiotic resistance was not hereditable and over expression of the MexEF-OprN efflux pump resulting from oxidative stress contributed to it. These results demonstrate temporal physiological persistence to antibiotics in cultivable chlorine-injured pathogens, suggesting their survival from adverse environments with antibiotic exposure and thereby posing lasting hazards to human health.