• Günter KampfEmail author


Glutaraldehyde (2%) has bactericidal and yeasticidal activity in 3 min and species-dependent mycobactericidal activity in 5–60 min. Some food-associated fungi, however, are less susceptible. An epidemiological cut-off value to determine acquired resistance has only been proposed for Bacillus spp. (4,000 mg/l). But elevated MIC values suggestive of resistance to glutaraldehyde (MIC ≥ 5,000 mg/l) have been reported for S. Typhimurium, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, S. mutans, E. coli and B. fragilis. Some mycobacterial isolates from washer disinfectors (e.g., M. chelonae) were resistant to glutaraldehyde in suspension tests and caused endoscope-associated pseudo-outbreaks. Specific resistance mechanisms are occasionally known, e.g., efflux pumps, membrane changes or a plasmid. Cross-tolerance to other aldehydes can occur in E. coli, Halomonas spp. and B. cepacia. Hydrogen peroxide has the capacity to induce a function which reduces the killing effects of aldehydes in E. coli. Cross-resistances to rifampicin and sometimes also to isoniazid have been reported in glutaraldehyde-resistant M. chelonae. Low-level exposure does not significantly change the susceptibility of Salmonella spp. The effect of glutaraldehyde on biofilm formation is unknown. Biofilm fixation by glutaraldehyde is mostly strong (≥60%); biofilm removal is mostly poor (≤10%).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Hygiene and Environmental MedicineUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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