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Role of EfrAB efflux pump in biocide tolerance and antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium isolated from traditional fermented foods and the effect of EDTA as EfrAB inhibitor.

Food microbiology (2014-08-03)
Leyre Lavilla Lerma, Nabil Benomar, Antonio Sánchez Valenzuela, María del Carmen Casado Muñoz, Antonio Gálvez, Hikmate Abriouel
ABSTRACT

Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium isolated from various traditional fermented foods of both animal and vegetable origins have shown multidrug resistance to several antibiotics and tolerance to biocides. Reduced susceptibility was intra and inter-species dependent and was due to specific and unspecific mechanisms such as efflux pumps. EfrAB, a heterodimeric ABC transporter efflux pump, was detected in 100% of multidrug resistant (MDR) E. faecalis strains and only in 12% of MDR E. faecium strains. EfrAB expression was induced by half of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of gentamicin, streptomycin and chloramphenicol. However, expression of efrA and efrB genes was highly dependent on the strain tested and on the antimicrobial used. Our results indicated that 3 mM EDTA highly reduced the MICs of almost all drugs tested. Nevertheless, the higher reductions (>8 folds) were obtained with gentamicin, streptomycin, chlorhexidine and triclosan. Reductions of MICs were correlated with down-regulation of EfrAB expression (10-140 folds) in all three MDR enterococci strains. This is the first report describing the role of EfrAB in the efflux of antibiotics and biocides which reflect also the importance of EfrAB in multidrug resistance in enterococci. EDTA used at low concentration as food preservative could be one of the best choices to prevent spread of multidrug resistant enterococci throughout food chain by decreasing EfrAB expression. EfrAB could be an attractive target not only in enterococci present in food matrix but also those causing infections as well by using EDTA as therapeutic agent in combination with low doses of antibiotics.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Triclosan, 97.0-103.0% (active substance, GC)
Supelco
Triclosan, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
USP
Triclosan, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard