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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital

Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance in Biofilm and Planktonic Pseudomonas aeruginosa Populations Exposed to Subinhibitory Levels of Ciprofloxacin

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


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  • Marwa N Ahmed
  • Andreas Porse
  • Morten Otto Alexander Sommer
  • Niels Høiby
  • Oana Ciofu
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The opportunistic Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, known for its intrinsic and acquired antibiotic resistance, has a notorious ability to form biofilms, which often facilitate chronic infections. The evolutionary paths to antibiotic resistance have mainly been investigated in planktonic cultures and are less studied in biofilms. We experimentally evolved P. aeruginosa PAO1 colony biofilms and stationary-phase planktonic cultures for seven passages in the presence of subinhibitory levels (0.1 mg/liter) of ciprofloxacin (CIP) and performed a genotypic (whole-bacterial population sequencing) and phenotypic assessment of the populations. We observed a higher proportion of CIP resistance in the CIP-evolved biofilm populations than in planktonic populations exposed to the same drug concentrations. However, the MICs of ciprofloxacin were lower in CIP-resistant isolates selected from the biofilm population than the MICs of CIP-resistant isolates from the planktonic cultures. We found common evolutionary trajectories between the different lineages, with mutations in known CIP resistance determinants as well as growth condition-dependent adaptations. We observed a general trend toward a reduction in type IV-pilus-dependent motility (twitching) in CIP-evolved populations and a loss of virulence-associated traits in the populations evolved in the absence of antibiotic. In conclusion, our data indicate that biofilms facilitate the development of low-level mutational resistance, probably due to the lower effective drug exposure than in planktonic cultures. These results provide a framework for the selection process of resistant variants and the evolutionary mechanisms involved under the two different growth conditions.

TidsskriftAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)e00320-18
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2018

ID: 56276293