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Chapter 23 : Biocides in the Kitchen
Studies in the United Kingdom on Pseudomonas aeruginosa at Unilever Research, Sharnbrook, and King's College, London, have also demonstrated that cross-resistance between antibiotics and biocides does occur, particularly in clinical strains. Samples were taken from sinks and other surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom and from soil likely to be tracked into the home. Bacteria targeted in these samples included coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas spp., Acinetobacter spp., and Escherichia coli. The investigators screened all 1,238 isolates for antibiotic sensitivity and tested selected resistant and sensitive isolates against triclosan, pine oil, parachlorometaxylenol, and quaternary ammonium compounds. The results indicated that there was no significant or meaningful correlation between the antibiotic resistance patterns of any of the gram-positive or gram-negative potential human pathogens and their insensitivity to any of the four antimicrobial substances. More target bacteria was recovered from homes not treated with antibacterial products than from those where they were in use. All Staphylococcus aureus isolates were sensitive to oxacillin and vancomycin, all Enterococcus isolates were sensitive to ampicillin and vancomycin, and all Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli isolates were sensitive to broad-spectrum cephalosporins. These results certainly indicated that the contribution to antibiotic resistance from biocidal warfare in the kitchen may be considerably less than some commentators have alleged.