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Infect Immun. 2008 May;76(5):1877-88. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01165-07. Epub 2008 Feb 19.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa cystic fibrosis isolates from individual patients demonstrate a range of levels of lethality in two Drosophila melanogaster infection models.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada.


Recently, two Drosophila melanogaster models of infection, fly feeding and fly nicking, have been developed that allow a determination of pathogenic potential of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. In this study, control strains, isolates from burn wounds, and isolates from the sputa of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients were used to compare the two infection models to determine whether any of the isolates might be better adapted to either of the models. In addition, our goal was to determine the variability of isolates from individual CF patients. Three of four control strains (PAO1, PAK, and PA14) caused significant mortality in the flies in both models of infection. The remaining control strain, PA103, was lethal to flies in the nicking model but lacked significant lethality in the feeding model. The burn wound isolates had a high level of lethality in both models. Interestingly, the CF isolates had the largest diversity of lethality in both models of infection. The range of pathogenic potentials of the CF isolates occurred across a cohort of patients, both at the patient level and down to the level of individual sputum samples. The majority of all isolates had similar levels of lethality in both fly infection models. However, two CF isolates were significantly more lethal in the nicking model, and three CF isolates were significantly more lethal in the feeding model. In conclusion, the two Drosophila infection models were useful for the analysis of the diversity of pathogenic potentials of P. aeruginosa isolates.

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