Journal Article

Identification of genes involved in the susceptibility of <i>Serratia marcescens</i> to polyquaternium-1

Caroline E. Codling, Brian V. Jones, Eshwar Mahenthiralingam, A. Denver Russell and Jean-Yves Maillard

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 54, issue 2, pages 370-375
Published in print August 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online August 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Identification of genes involved in the susceptibility of Serratia marcescens to polyquaternium-1

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  • Medical Oncology
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Objectives: Polyquaternium-1 (PQ-1) is a biocide used commercially in a contact lens disinfecting solution, ‘Opti-Free Express (Alcon) Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution’. The genetic basis for resistance of Serratia marcescens to PQ-1 was investigated using a random transposon-based mutagenesis approach.

Methods: S. marcescens was subjected to random transposon mutagenesis using a mini-Tn5 Km2 transposon. Mutants with increased susceptibility to PQ-1 were selected and the disrupted genes were identified. Antibiotic susceptibility profiles were also determined for all of the mutants.

Results: A wide range of genes were found to be disrupted in the mutants. The most common were genes associated with the cell membranes, or involved in biosynthesis and metabolism.

Conclusions: This study shows that random transposon mutagenesis is an effective tool for the elucidation of mechanisms of action and resistance to biocides. The results support our previous findings that PQ-1 is active against the cytoplasmic membrane of S. marcescens.

Keywords: S. marcescens; biocides; antibiotics; transposon mutagenesis; gene identification; genetics

Journal Article.  4004 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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