The accessory genome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA), is frequently perceived insignificant compared to the core genome, however typically contains temperate bacteriophage (phage) genomes that effect the bacterial host. PA presence in chronically infected lungs correlates with loss of lung function particularly in cystic fibrosis (CF) and non-CF bronchiectasis (nCFBR). This study focuses on isolates from chronically infected nCFBR patients isolated over a decade, shedding light on how temperate phages change over the course of a chronic infection with antibiotic treatment. As temperate phages insert themselves into the bacterial genome they also have the ability to cause genetic diversity to their host’s genome, which drives evolution at an increased rate. By analysing the PA genomes isolated from the chronically infected lungs of patients over a period of 10 years. It was possible to predict the temperate phages in the genomes as well as induce the phages from the bacteria and sequence them. This then identifies which phages are rooted within the genome and which are inducible and therefore may transfer, granting horizontal gene transfer between strains in the lungs. The aim of this study is to ascertain whether by comparing the phages longitudinally and horizontally (when multiple strains were seen within a sample) it is possible to determine if these phage have a role in the PA infection within the lungs becoming chronic. This may also give an idea to why these PA infections are chronic and are so hard to clear from the lung, which is yet unknown.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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