Exploring Efflux as a Mechanism of Reduced Susceptibility towards Biocides and Fluoroquinolones in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius

Marta Leal, Catarina Morais, Bárbara Ramos, Constança Pomba, Patrícia Abrantes, Sofia Santos Costa, Isabel Couto

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Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is the main bacterial cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in companion animals, particularly dogs. The emergence of methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) strains, frequently with multidrug resistance phenotypes is a public health concern. This study aimed to evaluate efflux, a resistance mechanism still poorly characterized in S. pseudintermedius, as a contributor to biocide and fluoroquinolone resistance. Susceptibility to the efflux pump substrates ethidium bromide (EtBr), tetraphenylphosphonium bromide (TPP) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) was evaluated by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) determination for 155 SSTIs-related S. pseudintermedius in companion animals. EtBr and TPP MIC distributions were analyzed to estimate cut-off (COWT) values. The effect of the efflux inhibitors (EIs) thioridazine and verapamil was assessed upon MICs and fluorometric EtBr accumulation assays, performed with/without glucose and/or EIs. This approach detected a non-wild type population towards TPP with increased efflux, showed to be strain-specific and glucose-dependent. Resistance to fluoroquinolones was mainly linked to target gene mutations, yet a contribution of efflux on CIP resistance levels could not be ruled out. In sum, this study highlights the relevance of efflux-mediated resistance in clinical S. pseudintermedius, particularly to biocides, and provides a methodological basis for further studies on the efflux activity on this important pathogen of companion animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1270
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023


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