Triclosan-induced modification of unsaturated fatty acid metabolism and growth in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

James W. Bullard, Franklin R. Champlin, Janna Burkus, Sarah Y. Millar, Robert S. Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Triclosan is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent having low toxicity which facilitates its incorporation into numerous personal and health care products. Although triclosan acts against a wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria by affecting fatty acid biosynthesis, it is ineffective against the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Wild-type strain P. aeruginosa PAO1 was used as a model system to determine the effects of triclosan on fatty acid metabolism in resistant microorganisms. This was accomplished by cultivating P. aeruginosa PAO1 cultures in the presence of different concentrations of triclosan, monitoring growth rates turbidimetrically, and harvesting in stationary phase. Readily extractable lipids (RELs) were obtained from freeze-dried cells after washing and analyzed using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Resultant data demonstrated that triclosan caused dose-dependent increases in the amounts of trans-C16:1 and trans-C18:1 fatty acids, with concomitant decreases in their respective cyclopropyl analogs. Triclosan did not affect the relative concentrations of saturated, cis unsaturated, or the overall ratios of combined C16 to C18 fatty acid species. The readily extractable lipid fractions contained triclosan proportional to triclosan concentrations in the growth media. The presence or absence of triclosan in either liquid or solid media did not affect the antimicrobial susceptibilities of P. aeruginosa PAO1 to a battery of unrelated antimicrobials. Triclosan decreased growth rate in a dose-dependant manner at soluble concentrations. Incorporation of triclosan into the REL fraction was accompanied by increased levels of trans unsaturated fatty acids, decreased levels of cyclopropyl fatty acids, and decrease in growth rate. These alterations may contribute to triclosan resistance in P. aeruginosa PAO1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-702
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Triclosan-induced modification of unsaturated fatty acid metabolism and growth in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this