Factors contributing to the survival of poultry associated Pseudomonas spp. exposed to a quaternary ammonium compound


S. Langsrud MATFORSK, Norwegian Food Research Institute, Oslovn. 1, N-1430 Ås, Norway.


Resistance to benzalkonium chloride (BC) among Pseudomonas spp. isolated from poultry carcasses was determined and strategies for elimination of resistant strains evaluated. This investigation showed that resistance was quite common, about 30% of the isolates being able to grow in 200 μg ml−1 BC. Pseudomonas fluorescens strains were generally less susceptible than strains of Ps. lundensis and Ps. fragi. An overnight incubation in medium containing 200 μg ml−1 BC was sufficient to reduce the susceptibility of two Pseudomonas strains to the lethal effect of BC significantly. Adding EDTA enhanced the lethal effect of BC, but the effect was reduced after growing cells in medium containing BC and EDTA. Growth in medium with a quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) rendered the cells more susceptible to chlorine, phenolics and alkylaminoacetate. These results indicate that alternating use of QACs with these compounds can be used to avoid build-up of resistant strains. In addition, increased temperatures improved the lethal effect of BC and should be considered when planning disinfection routines.