1887

Abstract

The opportunistic human pathogen is the predominant micro-organism of chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. colonizes the CF lungs by forming biofilm structures in the alveoli. In the biofilm mode of growth the bacteria are highly tolerant to otherwise lethal doses of antibiotics and are protected from bactericidal activity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). controls the expression of many of its virulence factors by means of a cell–cell communication system termed quorum sensing (QS). In the present report it is demonstrated that biofilm bacteria in which QS is blocked either by mutation or by administration of QS inhibitory drugs are sensitive to treatment with tobramycin and HO, and are readily phagocytosed by PMNs, in contrast to bacteria with functional QS systems. In contrast to the wild-type, QS-deficient biofilms led to an immediate respiratory-burst activation of the PMNs . QS-deficient mutants provoked a higher degree of inflammation. It is suggested that quorum signals and QS-inhibitory drugs play direct and opposite roles in this process. Consequently, the faster and highly efficient clearance of QS-deficient bacteria is probably a two-sided phenomenon: down regulation of virulence and activation of the innate immune system. These data also suggest that a combination of the action of PMNs and QS inhibitors along with conventional antibiotics would eliminate the biofilm-forming bacteria before a chronic infection is established.

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2005-02-01
2019-10-19
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