Table 7.

Possible transport of some antiseptics and disinfectants into gram-negative bacteriaa

Antiseptic/disinfectantPassage across OMbPassage across IMb
ChlorhexidineSelf-promoted uptake(?)IM is a major target site; damage to IM enables biocide to enter cytosol, where further interaction occurs
QACsSelf-promoted uptake(?); also, OM might present a barrierIM is a major target site; damage to IM enables biocide to enter cytosol, where further interaction occurs
PhenolicsHydrophobic pathway (activity increases as hydrophobicity of phenolic increases)IM is a major target site, but high phenolic concentrations coagulate cytoplasmic constituents
  • a Data from references197, 433 to435, 438, and439.

  • b OM, outer membrane; IM, inner membrane.