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J Appl Bacteriol. 1988 Jun;64(6):531-9.

Mechanism of resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to chlorhexidine.

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Pharmaceutical Microbiology Research Laboratory, Welsh School of Pharmacy, University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, Cardiff, UK.


Chlorhexidine diacetate (CHA) was rather more sporicidal at 20 degrees C to urea-dithreitol-sodium lauryl sulphate (UDS)-treated spores of Bacillus subtilis NCTC 8236 than to urea-dithiothreitol (UDT)-treated or normal (untreated) spores. UDS spores adsorbed more CHA from solution than did the other two forms. No differences in hydrophobicity, as determined by hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) or bacterial adherence to hydrocarbon (BATH), could be detected between the three spore types. Germinating spores took up much less CHA than did outgrowing spores. Germinating cells were considerably more hydrophobic, as measured by the BATH technique, than outgrowing cells or normal spores. Chlorhexidine diacetate increased the apparent hydrophobicity of the two latter forms, but this effect could be partially reversed by subsequent exposure to a non-ionic surfactant.

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