Scientific article

Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence analyzed in a Dictyostelium discoideum host system

Published inJournal of bacteriology, vol. 184, no. 11, p. 3027-3033
Publication date2002

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen that produces a variety of cell-associated and secreted virulence factors. P. aeruginosa infections are difficult to treat effectively because of the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. In this study, we analyzed whether the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum can be used as a simple model system to analyze the virulence of P. aeruginosa strains. The virulent wild-type strain PAO1 was shown to inhibit growth of D. discoideum. Isogenic mutants deficient in the las quorum-sensing system were almost as inhibitory as the wild type, while rhl quorum-sensing mutants permitted growth of Dictyostelium cells. Therefore, in this model system, factors controlled by the rhl quorum-sensing system were found to play a central role. Among these, rhamnolipids secreted by the wild-type strain PAO1 could induce fast lysis of D. discoideum cells. By using this simple model system, we predicted that certain antibiotic-resistant mutants of P. aeruginosa should show reduced virulence. This result was confirmed in a rat model of acute pneumonia. Thus, D. discoideum could be used as a simple nonmammalian host system to assess pathogenicity of P. aeruginosa.

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins/genetics
  • Bacteriolysis/drug effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins/deficiency/genetics
  • Dictyostelium/growth & development/ microbiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glycolipids/pharmacology
  • Hexosyltransferases/deficiency/genetics
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Mutation
  • Pseudomonas Infections/microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa/genetics/ pathogenicity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Trans-Activators/deficiency/genetics
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
COSSON, Pierre et al. Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence analyzed in a Dictyostelium discoideum host system. In: Journal of bacteriology, 2002, vol. 184, n° 11, p. 3027–3033.
Updates (1)
ISSN of the journal0021-9193

Technical informations

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