Chapter 12 : Biocides and Resistance

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Now the antibiotic resistance is escalating to alarming proportions and the discovery of new antibiotics is waning, a greater reliance on infection prevention has evolved-from fear as well as necessity. Among personal hygiene products, the agents triclocarban and triclosan are the most common biocide components. A major group of commonly used residue producing biocides consists of the quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) that are also known as cationic detergents. The pathogens and O157 could readily adapt to stable biocide tolerance (30 or more days), and very high triclosan tolerance could be attained in . Importantly, resistance to ciprofloxacin was expressed at clinically significant levels. The reverse phenomenon has also been reported (i.e., strains adapted to antibiotic resistance can demonstrate tolerance to biocides). QACs are widely used as disinfectants in the food industry, and there is concern over the increasing incidence of biocide resistance in food-associated bacteria. The biocide controversy has sparked an increased interest in the undertaking of prospective in situ or microcosm-based studies that would help shed greater insight into the impacts of biocide application as practiced in the community environment. Recent surveys of large numbers of species isolated from a variety of environments have revealed a range in biocide susceptibility, with small frequencies of outliers that exhibit significantly elevated tolerance.

Citation: Marshall B, McMurry L. 2005. Biocides and Resistance, p 174-190. In White D, Alekshun M, McDermott P (ed), Frontiers in Antimicrobial Resistance. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817572.ch12

Key Concept Ranking

Antibacterial Agents
Outer Membrane Proteins
Fatty Acid Biosynthesis
Antiseptics and Disinfectants
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Table 1

Biocides and their mechanisms of action

Compiled from references , and .

Citation: Marshall B, McMurry L. 2005. Biocides and Resistance, p 174-190. In White D, Alekshun M, McDermott P (ed), Frontiers in Antimicrobial Resistance. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817572.ch12
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Table 2

In vitro biocide adaptation/mutation and cross-resistance to unrelated biocides and antibiotics

Partially or fully resistant to one or more of the stated agents.

QAC, quaternary ammonium compounds.

MRSA, methicillin-resistant

Citation: Marshall B, McMurry L. 2005. Biocides and Resistance, p 174-190. In White D, Alekshun M, McDermott P (ed), Frontiers in Antimicrobial Resistance. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817572.ch12

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