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Various Evolutionary Trajectories Lead to Loss of the Tobramycin-Potentiating Activity of the Quorum-Sensing Inhibitor Baicalin Hydrate in Burkholderia cenocepacia Biofilms

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Combining antibiotics with potentiators that increase their activity is a promising strategy to tackle infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As potentiators do not interfere with essential processes, it has been hypothesized that they are less likely to induce resistance. However, evidence supporting this hypothesis is lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 biofilms develop reduced susceptibility toward one such adjuvant, baicalin hydrate (BH). Biofilms were repeatedly and intermittently treated with tobramycin (TOB) alone or in combination with BH for 24 h. After treatment, the remaining cells were quantified using plate counting. After 15 cycles, biofilm cells were less susceptible to TOB and TOB + BH compared to the start population, and the potentiating effect of BH toward TOB was lost. Whole-genome sequencing was performed to probe which changes were involved in the reduced effect of BH, and mutations in 14 protein-coding genes were identified (including mutations in genes involved in central metabolism and in BCAL0296, encoding an ABC transporter). No changes in the MIC or MBC of TOB or changes in the number of persister cells were observed. However, basal intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ROS levels found after treatment with TOB were markedly decreased in the evolved populations. In addition, in evolved cultures with mutations in BCAL0296, a significantly reduced uptake of TOB was observed. Our results indicate that B. cenocepacia J2315 biofilms rapidly lose susceptibility toward the antibiotic-potentiating activity of BH and point to changes in central metabolism, reduced ROS production, and reduced TOB uptake as mechanisms.
ISSN: 1098-6596
Issue: 4
Volume: 63
Jaar van publicatie:2019
BOF-publication weight:3
CSS-citation score:2
Authors from:Higher Education