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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 24;8(4):e61625. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061625. Print 2013.

Identification of genes involved in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm-specific resistance to antibiotics.

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Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a key opportunistic pathogen characterized by its biofilm formation ability and high-level multiple antibiotic resistance. By screening a library of random transposon insertion mutants with an increased biofilm-specifc antibiotic susceptibility, we previously identified 3 genes or operons of P. aeruginosa UCBPP-PA14 (ndvB, PA1875-1877 and tssC1) that do not affect biofilm formation but are involved in biofilm-specific antibiotic resistance. In this study, we demonstrate that PA0756-0757 (encoding a putative two-component regulatory system), PA2070 and PA5033 (encoding hypothetical proteins of unknown function) display increased expression in biofilm cells and also have a role in biofilm-specific antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, deletion of each of PA0756, PA2070 and PA5033 resulted in a significant reduction of lethality in Caenorhabditis elegans, indicating a role for these genes in both biofilm-specific antibiotic resistance and persistence in vivo. Together, these data suggest that these genes are potential targets for antimicrobial agents.

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