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J Cyst Fibros. 2010 May;9(3):158-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Feb 13.

Biosignificance of bacterial cyanogenesis in the CF lung.

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School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001, Australia.


Two recent studies have demonstrated the presence of biologically significant amounts of cyanide within the airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Whilst environmental strains of P. aeruginosa are known to synthesise cyanide, there has been a relative lack of investigation into bacterial cyanogenesis from a medical viewpoint, despite the role P. aeruginosa plays in many serious infection settings and especially in CF lung disease. This review discusses the implications of cyanogenesis in the CF airway in terms of bacterial ecology, host immune response, progression of lung disease and potential treatment options.

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