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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2000 Feb;45(2):145-52.

Cytological changes in chlorhexidine-resistant isolates of Pseudomonas stutzeri.

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Welsh School of Pharmacy, and School of Molecular and Medical Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3XF, UK.


Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive analysis of X-ray (EDAX) have been used to examine chlorhexidine diacetate (CHA)-sensitive and -resistant isolates of Pseudomonas stutzeri and to determine the effects of CHA on the cells. Significant differences were observed in the structure, size and elemental composition of CHA-sensitive and -resistant cells. Treatment with CHA produced considerably greater changes in CHA-sensitive cells, with widespread peeling of the outer membrane, a substantial loss of cytoplasmic electron-dense material and extensive lysis. Cells from the resistant isolates showed no blebbing of the outer membrane and no structural damage. X-ray mapping confirmed the difference in CHA uptake between CHA-sensitive and CHA-resistant cells. It is proposed that changes in the outer membrane form a major mechanism of resistance to CHA in P. stutzeri.

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