AbstractAntimicrobial disinfectants have been extensively used to control hospital-acquired infections worldwide. Prolonged exposure to bacteria could promote resistance to antimicrobial disinfectants. This study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of four commonly used disinfectants; triclosan, chlorhexidine digluconate, benzalkonium chloride, and formaldehyde against Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates. This study also determined the prevalence and association of efflux pumps encoding genes qacE, qacED1, emrA, and aceI with tolerance to disinfectants. A total of 100 A. baumannii isolates were included in the current study. The antimicrobial disinfectants' minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined using an agar dilution method. Genes involved in resistance to disinfectants were investigated by PCR method. The benzalkonium chloride MICs ranged between 32 and 128 μg mL−1, chlorhexidine digluconate 8–64 μg mL−1, triclosan 1–32 μg mL−1, and formaldehyde 128 μg mL−1. Overall, the highest MIC90 value was identified for formaldehyde (128 μg mL−1), followed by benzalkonium chloride and chlorhexidine digluconate (64 μg mL−1, each one) and triclosan (4 μg mL−1). In the present study, the qacE, qacED1, emrA, and aceI genes were found in 91%, 55%, 100%, and 88% of isolates, respectively. The qacG gene was not identified in our A. baumannii isolates. The qacED1 gene was associated with higher MICs for all disinfectants tested (P < 0.05), while the qacE and aceI genes were associated with higher MICs for benzalkonium chloride and chlorhexidine. This study indicated that triclosan is the most effective disinfectant against A. baumannii isolates.

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