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J Infect Dis. 2001 Mar 15;183(6):919-27. Epub 2001 Feb 15.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of respiratory epithelium in a cystic fibrosis xenograft model.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA.


Pulmonary infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) causes a chronic destructive bronchitis. A xenograft model was used to study the susceptibility of the CF respiratory epithelium to P. aeruginosa strain PAK and the virulence of certain mutants. Despite an early trend toward increased susceptibility, colonization of CF xenografts (ID(95), 62 colony-forming units [cfu]) was not statistically different (P=.5) than in xenografts with normal respiratory cells (ID(95), 1.2x10(3) cfu). Infection severity in 12 CF xenografts (mean polymorphonuclear leukocyte [PMNL] density, 1.88x10(6)+/-1.75x10(6)/xenograft) was similar to that in 16 non-CF xenografts (3.19x10(6)+/-2.45x10(6) PMNL/xenograft; P=.38), despite slightly greater bacterial density in the CF xenografts (mean, 1.57+/-2.73x10(6) cfu/xenograft) versus xenografts with normal epithelium (mean, 1.03+/-1.3x10(6) cfu/xenograft). P. aeruginosa mutants pilA and fliF, but not rpoN, colonized normal respiratory xenografts, indicating that colonization and infection in this model depend on an uncharacterized RpoN-controlled gene. This model appears to be suitable for genetic study of P. aeruginosa virulence but not of the CF respiratory tract's unique susceptibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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