Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 Jan;59(1):183-8.

Adaptation and growth of Serratia marcescens in contact lens disinfectant solutions containing chlorhexidine gluconate.

Author information

Biology Department, Georgia State University, Atlanta 30302-4010.


Serratia marcescens (11 of 12 strains) demonstrated an ability to grow in certain chlorhexidine-based disinfecting solutions recommended for rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. For a representative strain, cells that were grown in nutrient-rich medium, washed, and inoculated into disinfecting solution went into a nonrecoverable phase within 24 h. However, after 4 days, cells that had the ability to grow in the disinfectant (doubling time, g = 5.7 h) emerged. Solutions supporting growth of S. marcescens were filter sterilized. These solutions, even after removal of the cells, showed bactericidal activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and a biphasic survival curve when rechallenged with S. marcescens. Adaptation to chlorhexidine by S. marcescens was not observed in solutions formulated with borate ions. For chlorhexidine-adapted cells, the MIC of chlorhexidine in saline was eightfold higher than that for unadapted cells. Cells adapted to chlorhexidine showed alterations in the proteins of the outer membrane and increased adherence to polyethylene. Cells adapted to chlorhexidine persisted or grew in several other contact lens solutions with different antimicrobial agents, including benzalkonium chloride.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center