Effect of chlorine exposure on the survival and antibiotic gene expression of multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in water

Deepti Prasad Karumathil, Hsin Bai Yin, Anup Kollanoor-Johny, Kumar Venkitanarayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acinetobacter baumannii is a multidrug resistant pathogen capable of causing a wide spectrum of clinical conditions in humans. Acinetobacter spp. is ubiquitously found in different water sources. Chlorine being the most commonly used disinfectant in water, the study investigated the effect of chlorine on the survival of A. baumannii in water and transcription of genes conferring antibiotic resistance. Eight clinical isolates of A. baumannii, including a fatal meningitis isolate (ATCC 17978) (~108 CFU/mL) were separately exposed to free chlorine concentrations (0.2, 1, 2, 3 and 4 ppm) with a contact time of 30, 60, 90 and 120 second. The surviving pathogen counts at each specified contact time were determined using broth dilution assay. In addition, real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis of the antibiotic resistance genes (efflux pump genes and those encoding resistance to specific antibiotics) of three selected A. baumannii strains following exposure to chlorine was performed. Results revealed that all eight A. baumannii isolates survived the tested chlorine levels during all exposure times (p > 0.05). Additionally, there was an up-regulation of all or some of the antibiotic resistance genes in A. baumannii, indicating a chlorine-associated induction of antibiotic resistance in the pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1844-1854
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2014

Keywords

  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Chlorine
  • Disinfection
  • Water

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