Understanding the control of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alginate synthesis and the prospects for management of chronic infections in cystic fibrosis
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2005
Volume 56, Issue 2, pages 309–322, April 2005
How to Cite
Ramsey, D. M. and Wozniak, D. J. (2005), Understanding the control of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alginate synthesis and the prospects for management of chronic infections in cystic fibrosis. Molecular Microbiology, 56: 309–322. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2005.04552.x
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2005
- Article first published online: 18 FEB 2005
- Accepted 24 December, 2004.
Decades of research have been dedicated to the study of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative, environmental bacterium that secretes the exopolysaccharide alginate during chronic lung infection of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Although P. aeruginosa utilizes a variety of factors to establish a successful infection in the lungs of CF patients, alginate has stood out as one of the best-studied prognostic indicators of chronic lung infection. While the genetics, biosynthesis and regulation of alginate are well understood, questions still remain concerning its role in biofilm development and its potential as a therapeutic target. The purpose of this review is to provide a brief summary of alginate biosynthesis and regulation, and to highlight recent discoveries in the areas of alginate production, biofilm formation and vaccine design. This information is placed in context with a proposed P. aeruginosa infectious pathway, highlighting avenues for the use of existing therapies as well as the potential for novel agents to reduce or eliminate chronic infections in CF patients.