Importance of porins for biocide efficacy against Mycobacterium smegmatis

Academic Article


  • Mycobacteria are among the microorganisms least susceptible to biocides but cause devastating diseases, such as tuberculosis, and increasingly opportunistic infections. The exceptional resistance of mycobacteria to toxic solutes is due to an unusual outer membrane, which acts as an efficient permeability barrier, in synergy with other resistance mechanisms. Porins are channel-forming proteins in the outer membrane of mycobacteria. In this study we used the alamarBlue assay to show that the deletion of Msp porins in isogenic mutants increased the resistance of Mycobacterium smegmatis to isothiazolinones (methylchloroisothiazolinone [MCI]/ methylisothiazolinone [MI] and octylisothiazolinone [2-n-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one; OIT]), formaldehydereleasing biocides {hexahydrotriazine [1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-hexahydrotriazine; HHT] and methylenbisoxazolidine [N,N′-methylene-bis-5-(methyloxazolidine); MBO]}, and the lipophilic biocides polyhexamethylene biguanide and octenidine dihydrochloride 2-to 16-fold. Furthermore, the susceptibility of the porin triple mutant against a complex disinfectant was decreased 8-fold compared to wild-type (wt) M. smegmatis. Efficacy testing in the quantitative suspension test EN 14348 revealed 100-fold improved survival of the porin mutant in the presence of this biocide. These findings underline the importance of porins for the susceptibility of M. smegmatis to biocides. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Frenzel E; Schmidt S; Niederweis M; Steinhauer K
  • Start Page

  • 3068
  • End Page

  • 3073
  • Volume

  • 77
  • Issue

  • 9