Susceptibility of compound 48/80-sensitized Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the hydrophobic biocide triclosan

Matthew L. Ellison, Amity L. Roberts, Franklin R. Champlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is intrinsically resistant to the hydrophobic biocide triclosan, and yet it can be sensitized to low concentrations by permeabilization of the outer membrane using compound 48/80. A selective plating assay revealed that compound 48/80-permeabilized YM64, a triclosan-recognizing efflux pump-deficient variant, was unable to initiate growth on a medium containing triclosan. Macrobroth dilution assay data revealed that treatment with compound 48/80 synergistically decreased minimal inhibitory concentrations of the hydrophobic antibacterial agents rifamycin SV and chloramphenicol for all cell envelope variant strains examined. A low concentration of triclosan exerted a transient bactericidal effect on permeabilized wild-type strain PAO1, after which exponential growth resumed within 4 h. Permeabilized strain YM64 was unable to overcome the inhibition; yet, both strains remained susceptible to chloramphenicol for as long as 6 h, thereby suggesting that the outer membrane remained permeable to nonpolar compounds. These data support the notion that the transitory nature of compound 48/80 sensitization to triclosan in P. aeruginosa does not involve obviation of the hydrophobic diffusion pathway through the outer membrane. The inability of strain YM64 to overcome the synergistic effect of compound 48/80 and triclosan strongly suggests that triclosan-recognizing efflux pumps are involved in maintaining viability in wild-type cells whose outer membranes are otherwise compromised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Cell envelope
  • Compound 48/80
  • Outer membrane
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Resistance
  • Triclosan


Dive into the research topics of 'Susceptibility of compound 48/80-sensitized Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the hydrophobic biocide triclosan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this