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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1990 Oct;26(4):473-8.

Effect of growth-rate on resistance of gram-negative biofilms to cetrimide.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Manchester, UK.


A method of cell culture, which allows control of growth rate for sessile Gram-negative populations, has been employed to assess the sensitivity of Escherichia coli biofilms to the antiseptic compound, cetrimide. Growth-rate-dependent changes in sensitivity were compared for chemostat-grown, planktonic cells, for cells resuspended from the biofilm and also for newly formed daughter cells shed from the biofilm during its growth and development. Susceptibility to cetrimide decreased in all instances with increases in growth-rate up to mu = 0.15 h-1. As growth rate was increased beyond this value then sensitivity increased in proportion to the rate of division. At rates of growth less than mu = 0.15 h-1 the susceptibility of the biofilm-derived cells and their offspring was significantly less than that of cells of planktonic origin.

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