Pseudomonas aeruginosa: new insights into pathogenesis and host defenses

Authors

  • Shaan L. Gellatly,

    1. Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • Robert E.W. Hancock

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    • Correspondence

      Robert E. W. Hancock, 232-2259 Lower Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4.

      Tel.: +1 604 822 2682

      fax: +1 604 827 5566

      e-mail: bob@hancocklab.com

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  • This review about Pseudomonas aeruginosa acute and chronic virulence is timely and extremely well presented. It presents both the response of the host and the virulence factors produced by the bacterium.

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a metabolically versatile bacterium that can cause a wide range of severe opportunistic infections in patients with serious underlying medical conditions. These infections are characterized by an intense neutrophilic response resulting in significant damage to host tissues and often exhibit resistance to antibiotics leading to mortality. Treatment of persistent infections is additionally hampered by adaptive resistance, due to the growth state of the bacterium in the patient including the microorganism's ability to grow as a biofilm. An array of P. aeruginosa virulence factors counteract host defences and can cause direct damage to host tissues or increase the bacterium's competitiveness. New prevention and treatment methods are urgently required to improve the outcome of patients with P. aeruginosa infections. This review describes the two main types of P. aeruginosa lung infections and provides an overview of the host response and how the genomic capacity of P. aeruginosa contributes to the pathogenesis and persistence of these infections.

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