A laboratory mutant of Escherichia coli stably resistant to more than 36000 U ml-1 of polymyxin B was isolated. The mutant exhibited moderate increases in minimum inhibitory concentration to fluoroquinolones and bacitracin but high levels of cross-resistance to β-lactams and aminoglycosides. However, it remained susceptible to tetracycline, nalidixic acid and novobiocin. Changes were observed in the outer membrane proteins and lipopolysaccharide profile leading to a decrease in permeability as evident from reduction in the following: (i) minimum inhibitory concentration values in the presence of Tween 80, (ii) uptake of 1-N-phenyl naphthylamine and norfloxacin, (iii) hydrolysis of β-lactams and (iv) diffusion of lactose and cefazolin into proteoliposomes reconstituted with outer membrane proteins. We therefore suggest that the novel pattern of cross-resistance of our isolate is due to the decrease in its permeability.
Rahaman, S. O., Mukherjee, J., Chakrabarti, A., & Pal, S. (1998). Decreased membrane permeability in a polymyxin B-resistant Escherichia coli mutant exhibiting multiple resistance to β-lactams as well as aminoglycosides. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 161(2), 249–254. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1097(98)00082-2