Chapter 8 : Disinfectant Resistance in Bacteria

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Disinfectants are used extensively in animal husbandry, hospital and food industry. Particularly important in the food industry is the inactivation of bacteria attached to surfaces and at low temperatures, both conditions where bacterial tolerance to disinfectants can be enhanced. Concerns about possible antibiotic and disinfectant cross-resistance are discussed in “Potential for Selection of Resistant Strains”. Gram-negative bacteria are generally less susceptible to disinfectants than gram-positive bacteria, presumably due to the reduced permeability of the double membrane. Mutants of various bacterial species ( serovar Typhimurium, , and ) with reduced susceptibility to triclosan can be selected in vitro after exposure to sublethal concentrations of the compound. The inherent resistance of gram-negative bacteria to antibacterial agents and disinfectants is often attributed to poor permeability of the cell to these agents. The MICs of disinfectants for most bacteria are normally greatly below the concentrations used in practice. A recent study demonstrated differences between the hand flora isolated from “homemakers” and intensive care nurses. A key difference between the two groups was the increased hand hygiene practiced by the nurses, and it is possible that disinfectant exposure has contributed to the differences in flora observed in this study. Cleaning prior to disinfection is important in order to remove organic material and other contaminants that might interfere with disinfectant activity.

Citation: Webber M, Piddock L, Woodward M. 2006. Disinfectant Resistance in Bacteria, p 115-125. In Aarestrup F (ed), Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria of Animal Origin. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817534.ch8
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Figure 1.

Potential outcomes of exposure to a disinfectant.

Citation: Webber M, Piddock L, Woodward M. 2006. Disinfectant Resistance in Bacteria, p 115-125. In Aarestrup F (ed), Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria of Animal Origin. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817534.ch8
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Table 1.

Classes of disinfectant and their advantages, disadvantages, and applications

Citation: Webber M, Piddock L, Woodward M. 2006. Disinfectant Resistance in Bacteria, p 115-125. In Aarestrup F (ed), Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria of Animal Origin. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817534.ch8

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