Antiseptic-induced changes in the cell surface of a chlorhexidine-sensitive and a chlorhexidine-resistant strain of Providencia stuartii

J Antimicrob Chemother. 1985 Dec;16(6):685-9. doi: 10.1093/jac/16.6.685.


The effects of chlorhexidine diacetate and benzalkonium chloride on the cell surface of a chlorhexidine-sensitive (Pv 2) and a chlorhexidine-resistant (Pv 67) strain of Providencia stuartii are described. Low concentrations of chlorhexidine diacetate (10 mg/l and upwards) increased the hydrophobicity of Pv 2, whilst having little effect on Pv 67. Both strains were resistant to benzalkonium chloride but a concentration as low as 2 mg/l induced a significant increase in hydrophobicity in Pv 2, with 25-50 mg/l needed to induce a similar type of increase in Pv 67. The possible nature of the resistance is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Benzalkonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Proteus / drug effects*
  • Providencia / drug effects*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Benzalkonium Compounds
  • Chlorhexidine