Prolonged survival of Serratia marcescens in Chlorhexidine

Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.67). 01/1982; 42(6):1093-102.
Source: PubMed


During an outbreak of Serratia marcescens infections at our hospital, we discovered widespread contamination of the 2% chlorhexidine hand-washing solution by S. marcescens. Examination by electron microscopy of the sides of bottles in which this solution was stored revealed that microorganisms were embedded in a fibrous matrix. Bacteria, free in the liquid, were morphologically abnormal, showing cell wall disruption or cytoplasmic changes. Furthermore, bacteria adherent to the walls of the storage jugs and embedded in this fibrous matrix also had morphologically abnormal cytoplasm. Despite these changes, viable S. marcescens organisms were recovered from the fluid during a storage period of 27 months. The concentration of chlorhexidine required to inhibit these strains of Serratia was 1,024 microgram/ml; however, the organism could survive in concentrations of up to 20,000 micrograms/ml. Additional studies are needed to define the mechanism(s) that allows such bacteria to contaminate and survive in disinfectants.

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    • "Serratia marcescens was found to be viable even after 27 months in a disinfectant containing 2% chlorhexidine. A concentration of 0.1% chlorhexidine is sufficient to kill the cells of S. marcescens if they are freely suspended in liquid (Marrie & Costerton 1981; Costerton & Lashen 1983). Microbial contamination of e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: The key to effective cleaning and disinfection of food plants is the understanding of the type of the soil to be removed from the surfaces. An efficient cleaning and disinfection procedure consists of a sequence of rinses using good quality water with application of detergents and disinfectants. Disinfection is required in food plant operations, where wet surfaces provide favourable conditions for the growth of microbes. The efficacy of disinfectants is usually determined in suspensions, which do not mimic the growth conditions on surfaces where the agents are required to inactivate the microbes. Therefore, the suspension tests do not give adequate information and reliable carrier tests, which mimic surface growth, are needed. In developing a proposal for the testing of disinfectants on surfaces to an analytical standard, it is important to identify the major sources of variation in the procedure. In response to the need for a relatively realistic, simple and reliable test for disinfectant efficacy a method for culturing laboratory model biofilms has developed. The use of artificial biofilms i.e. biofilm-constructs inoculated with process contaminants in disinfectant testing can also be used for screening the activity of various disinfectants on biofilm cells. Both biofilm carrier tests showed clearly that the biofilm protects the microbes against the disinfectants. The chemical cleanliness is also essential in food plants. The total cleanliness of the process lines is mainly based on measuring the microbial load using culturing techniques. These results can give an incorrect picture of the total cleanliness, because the viable microbes do not grow when disinfectants are left on the surface. The luminescent bacteria light inhibition method offers a useful alternative for testing chemical residue left on surfaces after cleaning and disinfection operations.
    Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology 05/2003; 2(2):293-306. DOI:10.1023/B:RESB.0000040471.15700.03 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    • "Even starchy foods, such as bread and communion wafers, can provide this bacterium a rich growth substrate (Hejazi and Falkiner 1997). In addition, S. marcescens is able to survive under extreme conditions such as in double-distilled water (Szewzyk et al. 1993), disinfectants (Marrie and Costerton 1981), and antiseptics (Nakashima et al. 1987). which have potential therapeutic application. "

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