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J Appl Microbiol. 1999 Nov;87(5):735-42.

Specific variations of fatty acid composition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 15442 induced by quaternary ammonium compounds and relation with resistance to bactericidal activity.

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Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Industries Agricoles et Alimentaires, Département de Microbiologie Industrielle, France.


The role of membrane fatty acid composition in the resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 15442 to the bactericidal activity of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) was investigated. The strain was grown in a medium with increasing concentrations of a QAC, benzyldimethyltetradecylammonium chloride (C14) and two non-QACs, sodium dichloroisocyanurate and tri-sodium phosphate. In the presence of C14 only, the strain was able to grow in concentrations higher than the minimal inhibitory concentration. As the strain adapted to C14, resistance to bactericidal activity of the same biocide increased. For the non-QACs, no change was noted when cells were grown in the presence of biocides. The C14-adapted cells showed variations in membrane fatty acid composition. A hierarchical clustering analysis was used to compare all fatty acid compositions of cultures in the presence, or not, of the three biocides used here and another QAC studied previously. The clusters obtained underlined specific variations of membrane fatty acids in response to the presence of QACs. Furthermore, with a simple linear regression analysis, a relationship was shown between the membrane fatty acids and the resistance developed by the strain against the bactericidal activity of C14.

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