Echovirus 11 mutants with increased resistance to common water disinfectants

Common water disinfectants like chlorine have been reported to select for resistant viruses. Yet, only little attention has been devoted to characterizing disinfection resistance. The goal of this study was to produce disinfectant-resistant viruses and to characterize the underlying resistance mechanisms. Resistant virus populations of echovirus 11 were established by experimental evolution. Specifically, viruses were repeatedly inactivated by ClO2 and subsequently regrown. In parallel, control experiments were conducted in which virus numbers were reduced by dilution rather than ClO2 exposure. Virus inactivation kinetics were quantified to capture the emergence of resistance. Once a resistant population was established, their genomes and structures were studied and the changes were linked to modifications in vital viral functions. Furthermore, we investigated changes in the replicative fitness, and the cross-resistance towards other disinfectants. Echovirus 11 exhibited resistance after repeated disinfection-regrowth passages. Interestingly, resistance also emerged without exposure to ClO2, indicating that cell passaging rather than ClO2-exposure drives resistance development. The resistant populations exhibited several fixed mutations that caused the substitution of ClO2-labile by ClO2-stable amino acid. These mutations imply a greater protein stability toward oxidation by ClO2. We thus propose that one of the mechanisms underlying resistance is the protection of the host attachment site from oxidation. Alternatively, host attachment may be maintained by switching to a different attachment site. This modification also led to change in viral entry pathways. Finally, the resistant echoviruses could outcompete the wild-type in a couple of cell lines tested.

Presented at:
74th Annual Swiss Society for Microbiology Meeting, Bern, Switzerland, June 13-16, 2016

 Record created 2017-02-23, last modified 2018-09-13

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)