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Ann Surg. 2003 Nov;238(5):754-64.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa expresses a lethal virulence determinant, the PA-I lectin/adhesin, in the intestinal tract of a stressed host: the role of epithelia cell contact and molecules of the Quorum Sensing Signaling System.

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1
Department of Surgery and Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We have previously demonstrated that P. aeruginosa can have profound effects on the intestinal epithelial barrier via one of its virulence factors, the PA-I lectin/adhesin. The aims of the present study were to further characterize the interaction of P. aeruginosa and the intestinal epithelium using both in vitro and in vivo approaches.

METHODS:

In vitro assays examining the effect of bacterial growth phase, epithelial cell contact, and butanoyl homoserine lactone (C4-HSL), a quorum sensing signaling molecule know to affect various extracellular virulence factors in P. aeruginosa, on PA-I expression in P. aeruginosa were performed. In vivo studies were carried out by modeling catabolic stress in mice using a 30% surgical hepatectomy and direct introduction of P. aeruginosa and various virulence components into the cecum. The effect of this model on PA-I expression in P. aeruginosa was determined.

RESULTS:

Results demonstrated that PA-I expression in P. aeruginosa is affected by its phase of growth, its contact to the intestinal epithelium, and its exposure to the quorum sensing molecule, C4-HSL. Furthermore, data from the present study suggest that the PA-I lectin/adhesin of P. aeruginosa may be increased in vivo by local factors within the cecum of mice in response to surgical stress.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data indicate that multiple factors present in the intestinal microenvironment of a stressed host may induce certain opportunistic pathogens to express key virulence factors leading to a state of lethal gut-derived sepsis.

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