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Curr Microbiol. 2011 Jul;63(1):16-21. doi: 10.1007/s00284-011-9934-0. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Presence of qacEΔ1 gene and susceptibility to a hospital biocide in clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistant to antibiotics.

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Department of Microbiology, INCQS-Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Biocides play an important role in healthcare-associated infection control by either minimizing or preventing microorganism dissemination. This study evaluated the susceptibility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates to a quaternary ammonium (QAC) disinfectant and antibiotics, and verified the presence of qacEΔ1, a determinant of resistance to QAC. The disinfectant test was the Association of Official Analytical Chemists Use-Dilution Test, and polymerase chain reaction was used to examine for qacEΔ1. The qacEΔ1 gene was detected in 48% of the isolates. Eighty-eight percent of the multiresistant isolates carried qacEΔ1 gene, while 35% of the non-multiresistant isolates was positive to this gene, and multiresistance well correlated with its presence. Among isolates tested for the disinfectant, 46% showed a reduced susceptibility to the disinfectant. qacEΔ1 gene was present in 70% of the susceptible isolates to the biocide, whereas 90% of the less susceptible strains harbored this gene. Reduced susceptibility to the disinfectant was independent of presence of qacEΔ1 suggesting that it does not play an important role in biocide resistance in P. aeruginosa. As far as we know, it is the first report confirming this fact and testing with disinfectant at its in-use concentration. The evidence of less susceptible strains than the reference bacterium used in disinfectant testing, and the high percentage of qacEΔ1 gene detected are of special concern and suggests continued investigation in laboratory and in situ, not only in healthcare settings, but also in all areas of biocide usage, including different micro-organisms and biocides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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