Louise Feld

Bactericidal antibiotics do not appear to cause oxidative stress in Listeria monocytogenes

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  • Louise Feld
  • Gitte M. Knudsen, Technical University of Denmark
  • ,
  • Lone Gram, Technical University of Denmark

Oxidative stress can be an important contributor to the lethal effect of bactericidal antibiotics in some bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Thus, despite the different target-specific actions of bactericidal antibiotics, they have a common mechanism leading to bacterial self-destruction by internal production of hydroxyl radicals. The purpose of the present study was to determine if a similar mechanism is involved in antibiotic killing of the infectious human pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes. We treated wild-type L. monocytogenes and oxidative stress mutants (Δsod and Δfri) with three different bactericidal antibiotics and found no difference in killing kinetics. In contrast, wild-type E. coli and an oxidative stress mutant (ΔsodA ΔsodB) differed significantly in their sensitivity to bactericidal antibiotics. We conclude that bactericidal antibiotics did not appear to cause oxidative stress in L. monocytogenes and propose that this is caused by its noncyclic tricarboxylic acid (TCA) pathway. Hence, in this noncyclic metabolism, there is a decoupling between the antibiotic-mediated cellular requirement for NADH and the induction of TCA enzyme activity, which is believed to mediate the oxidative stress reaction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Pages (from-to)4353-4357
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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