Phenotypic characterization of an international Pseudomonas aeruginosa reference panel: strains of cystic fibrosis (CF) origin show less in vivo virulence than non-CF strains

Louise Cullen, Rebecca Weiser, Tomasz Olszak, Rita F. Maldonado, Ana S. Moreira, Lisa Slachmuylders, Gilles Brackman, Tsvetelina S. Paunova-Krasteva, Paulina Zarnowiec, Grzegorz Czerwonka, James Reilly, Pavel Drevinek, Wieslaw Kaca, Oto Melter, Anthony de Soyza, Audrey Perry, Craig Winstanley, Stoyanka R. Stoitsova, Rob Lavigne, Eshwar MahenthiralingamIsabel Sá-Correia, Tom Coenye, Zuzanna Drulis-Kawa, Daria Augustyniak, Miguel A. Valvano, Siobhán McClean

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Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes chronic lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF) and acute opportunistic infections in people without CF. Forty two P. aeruginosa strains from a range of clinical and environmental sources were collated into a single reference strain panel to harmonise research on this diverse opportunistic pathogen. To facilitate further harmonized and comparable research on P. aeruginosa, we characterised the panel strains for growth rates, motility, virulence in the Galleria mellonella infection model, pyocyanin and alginate production, mucoid phenotype, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) pattern, biofilm formation, urease activity, antimicrobial and phage susceptibilities. Phenotypic diversity across the P. aeruginosa panel was apparent for all phenotypes examined agreeing with the marked variability seen in this species. However, except for growth rate, the phenotypic diversity among strains from CF versus non-CF sources was comparable. CF strains were less virulent in the G. mellonella model than non-CF strains (p=0.037). Transmissible CF strains generally lacked O antigen, produced less pyocyanin, and had low virulence in G. mellonella. Further, in the three sets of sequential CF strains, virulence, O-antigen expression and pyocyanin production were higher in the earlier isolate compared to the isolate obtained later in infection. Overall, full phenotypic characterization of the defined panel of P. aeruginosa strains increases our understanding of the virulence and pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa and may provide a valuable resource for the testing of novel therapies against this problematic pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1961-1977
Number of pages17
JournalMicrobiology
Volume161
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • motility
  • biofiilm
  • bacteriophage

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