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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2008 Jan-Mar;21(1):51-9.

Bovine lactoferrin inhibits the efficiency of invasion of respiratory A549 cells of different iron-regulated morphological forms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cenocepacia.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, University Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cenocepacia are two important opportunistic respiratory pathogens of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Infections caused by these microorganisms are particularly difficult to eradicate because they are usually highly resistant to several currently available broad-spectrum antibiotics. Lactoferrin (Lf), a glycoprotein found in physiological fluids of mammals and present at high concentrations in infected and inflamed tissues, plays an important role in the natural defence mechanism against pathogens and in immune regulation. In the present study, we evaluate the ability of bovine lactoferrin (bLf) to influence P. aeruginosa PAO1 and B. cenocepacia PV1 adhesiveness and invasiveness, using the A549 human bronchial cell line. Three different iron-induced morphological forms of bacteria (free-living, aggregates and biofilm) were assayed. The addition of bLf to cells just before infection had little influence on adhesion efficiency for all three of the morphological forms of B. cenocepacia PV1, while a slight increase in adhesion efficiency by P. aeruginosa PAO1 was noticed. Conversely, invasion of all three morphological forms of both P. aeruginosa and B. cenocepacia was strongly inhibited by the presence of bLf, independently of its degree of iron-binding activity. This is the first report demonstrating an anti-invasive property of bLf for strains of P. aeruginosa and B. cenocepacia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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