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      Benzalkonium Chlorides: Uses, Regulatory Status, and Microbial Resistance

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      Applied and Environmental Microbiology

      American Society for Microbiology

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          ABSTRACT

          Benzalkonium chlorides (BACs) are chemicals with widespread applications due to their broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This review provides an overview of the market for BACs, as well as regulatory measures and available data on safety, toxicity, and environmental contamination. We focus on the effect of frequent exposure of microbial communities to BACs and the potential for cross-resistant phenotypes to emerge. Toward this goal, we review BAC concentrations in consumer products, their correlation with the emergence of tolerance in microbial populations, and the associated risk potential. Our analysis suggests that the ubiquitous and frequent use of BACs in commercial products can generate selective environments that favor microbial phenotypes potentially cross-resistant to a variety of compounds. An analysis of benefits versus risks should be the guidepost for regulatory actions regarding compounds such as BACs.

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          The gut microbiome in health and in disease

          Recent technological advancements and expanded efforts have led to a tremendous growth in the collective knowledge of the human microbiome. This review will highlight some of the important recent findings in this area of research.
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            High-throughput genome sequencing of two Listeria monocytogenes clinical isolates during a large foodborne outbreak

            Background A large, multi-province outbreak of listeriosis associated with ready-to-eat meat products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes serotype 1/2a occurred in Canada in 2008. Subtyping of outbreak-associated isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed two similar but distinct AscI PFGE patterns. High-throughput pyrosequencing of two L. monocytogenes isolates was used to rapidly provide the genome sequence of the primary outbreak strain and to investigate the extent of genetic diversity associated with a change of a single restriction enzyme fragment during PFGE. Results The chromosomes were collinear, but differences included 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and three indels, including a 33 kbp prophage that accounted for the observed difference in AscI PFGE patterns. The distribution of these traits was assessed within further clinical, environmental and food isolates associated with the outbreak, and this comparison indicated that three distinct, but highly related strains may have been involved in this nationwide outbreak. Notably, these two isolates were found to harbor a 50 kbp putative mobile genomic island encoding translocation and efflux functions that has not been observed in other Listeria genomes. Conclusions High-throughput genome sequencing provided a more detailed real-time assessment of genetic traits characteristic of the outbreak strains than could be achieved with routine subtyping methods. This study confirms that the latest generation of DNA sequencing technologies can be applied during high priority public health events, and laboratories need to prepare for this inevitability and assess how to properly analyze and interpret whole genome sequences in the context of molecular epidemiology.
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              Quaternary ammonium biocides: efficacy in application.

               Charles Gerba (2015)
              Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) are among the most commonly used disinfectants. There has been concern that their widespread use will lead to the development of resistant organisms, and it has been suggested that limits should be place on their use. While increases in tolerance to QACs have been observed, there is no clear evidence to support the development of resistance to QACs. Since efflux pumps are believe to account for at least some of the increased tolerance found in bacteria, there has been concern that this will enhance the resistance of bacteria to certain antibiotics. QACs are membrane-active agents interacting with the cytoplasmic membrane of bacteria and lipids of viruses. The wide variety of chemical structures possible has seen an evolution in their effectiveness and expansion of applications over the last century, including non-lipid-containing viruses (i.e., noroviruses). Selection of formulations and methods of application have been shown to affect the efficacy of QACs. While numerous laboratory studies on the efficacy of QACs are available, relatively few studies have been conducted to assess their efficacy in practice. Better standardized tests for assessing and defining the differences between increases in tolerance versus resistance are needed. The ecological dynamics of microbial communities where QACs are a main line of defense against exposure to pathogens need to be better understood in terms of sublethal doses and antibiotic resistance.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Applied and Environmental Microbiology
                Appl Environ Microbiol
                American Society for Microbiology
                0099-2240
                1098-5336
                July 01 2019
                June 17 2019
                April 26 2019
                : 85
                : 13
                Article
                10.1128/AEM.00377-19
                6581159
                31028024
                © 2019
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