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Infect Immun. 2005 Jun;73(6):3693-701.

Enhanced Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm development mediated by human neutrophils.

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National Jewish Medical and Research Center, D202, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease features persistent neutrophil accumulation to the airways from the time of infancy. CF children are frequently exposed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and by adulthood, 80% of CF patients are chronically infected. The formation of biofilms is a particularly important phenotypic characteristic of P. aeruginosa that allows for bacterial survival despite aggressive antibiotic therapy and an exuberant immune response. Here, we show that the presence of neutrophils enhances initial P. aeruginosa biofilm development over a period of 72 h through the formation of polymers comprised of actin and DNA. F-actin was found to be a site of attachment for P. aeruginosa. These actin and DNA polymers are present in CF sputum, and disruption of the polymers dispersed the associated P. aeruginosa cells and reduced biofilm development. These findings demonstrate a potential maladaptation of the primary innate response. When the host fails to eradicate the infection, cellular components from necrotic neutrophils can serve as a biological matrix to facilitate P. aeruginosa biofilm formation.

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