Effect of pH on the in vitro susceptibility of planktonic and biofilm-grown Proteus mirabilis to the quinolone antimicrobials.
In Enterobacteriaceae, the permeability of the outer membrane to hydrophilic antibiotics is associated with the presence of pore-forming proteins. We tested the diffusion of the fluoroquinolone norfloxacin in four Enterobacter cloacae strains: a clinical isolate and three derivatives variously producing or lacking the D and F porins. We analysed the entry of norfloxacin into E. cloacae cells in the presence of either the polyamine spermine or the recently developed cefepime, which are known to penetrate through the Escherichia coli OmpF porin. Uptake of the fluoroquinolone was decreased in both cases; the initial rate of penetration decreased as more spermine blocked the channel. Our results indicate that, like beta-lactam molecules, fluoroquinolones translocate through the outer membrane via the F porin and that cefepime and norfloxacin entries are polyamine-sensitive. This suggests that the closure of the F porin channel by polyamines might modulate the susceptibility of E. cloacae to both fluoroquinolone and cephalosporin antibiotics.