Genetic and physiological characterization of ciprofloxacin resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1988 Apr;32(4):535-9. doi: 10.1128/aac.32.4.535.


Spontaneous ciprofloxacin-resistant mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO2 were isolated on ML agar containing 0.5 microgram of ciprofloxacin per ml (2 times the MIC). The mutants were 8- to 64-fold more resistant to ciprofloxacin and showed complete cross resistance to nalidixic acid, ofloxacin, enoxacin, and norfloxacin. Two chromosomal resistance genes, cfxA and cfxB, were mapped between eda-9001 and phe-2 and near pyrB52 distal to proC130, respectively. The cfxB mutation was identical to a nalB mutation and conferred cross resistance to novobiocin, tetracycline, carbenicillin, and chloramphenicol, suggesting that there is an effect on permeability. DNA gyrase A and B subunits were purified from strain PAO2 (wild type), PAO236 nalA2, PAO4704 cfxA2, and PAO4700 cfxA1 cfxB1. Inhibition of gyrase-mediated DNA supercoiling by ciprofloxacin or nalidixic acid was greatly reduced in preparations derived from each of the mutants. Inhibition studies on reconstituted heterologous gyrase subunits showed that decreased inhibition was dependent on the mutant gyrase A subunit. We conclude that ciprofloxacin resistance in P. aeruginosa PAO2 can occur by mutation in the nalB gene or the gene for DNA gyrase A (formerly nalA).

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Ciprofloxacin / pharmacology*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / genetics
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / isolation & purification
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics
  • Quinolines / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Quinolines
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II