Selected chlorine tolerance in mycobacteria

Christie Ann Lucero, University of Texas at El Paso


Mycobacteria are persistent under stringent conditions. Their opportunistic pathogenicity is a direct result of remarkable survival in hospital and municipal water systems. Mycobacteria have an innate resistance to chlorine and other biocides second only to spores. Despite decades of usage as a disinfectant in our water supply worldwide, little is known of the killing mechanisms of chlorine. Our goal is to determine if Mycobacterium avium can develop enhanced genetic resistance to chlorine, and what the possible target(s) of chlorine are. An overexpression genomic library of M. avium will be transformed into Mycobacteria smegmatis mc2-155. Recombinant clones with enhanced chlorine resistance, presumably by target overexpression, will be selected. We will also determine the frequency of naturally occurring background resistant mutants. If resistance can be selected the implications are serious. The medical setting will be forced to examine their current disinfection procedures. Revealing the molecular targets of chlorine may facilitate development of future broad-spectrum biocides.

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Recommended Citation

Lucero, Christie Ann, "Selected chlorine tolerance in mycobacteria" (2003). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAIEP10369.