Association between gentamicin resistance and stress tolerance in water isolates of Ralstonia pickettii and R. mannitolilytica

Pompeyo Ferro, Ivone Vaz-Moreira, Célia M. Manaia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Members of the species Ralstonia pickettii and R. mannitolilytica, although ubiquitous and lacking major virulence factors, have been associated with nosocomial outbreaks. Tolerance to metals, antibiotics, and disinfectants may represent an advantage for their ubiquity and opportunistic pathogenic potential. In this study, we compared five strains that differed on the origin (hospital effluent, tap water, mineral water) and in the susceptibility to aminoglycosides, regarding their tolerance to metals and disinfection. The growth kinetics and biofilm formation capacity were tested in four R. pickettii strains and one R. mannitolilytica at sub-inhibitory concentrations of aminoglycosides or arsenite. The survival to UV radiation, chlorine, or hydrogen peroxide was also compared in aminoglycoside resistant and susceptible strains. Aminoglycoside-resistant strains presented a higher tolerance to arsenite than the susceptible ones and either aminoglycosides or arsenite was observed to stimulate the biofilm formation. Sub-inhibitory concentrations of the aminoglycoside gentamicin or arsenite significantly decreased the growth rate and yield, but only arsenite caused a significant increase of the lag phase. Hydrogen peroxide presented higher disinfection effectiveness against aminoglycoside susceptible than against resistant strains, an effect that was not observed for UV or chlorine. Although this conclusion needs validation based on a larger number of isolates, including clinical, the results suggest that aminoglycoside resistance may be associated with traits that influence Ralstonia spp. fitness in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalFolia Microbiologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


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