Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Immun. 2014 Mar;82(3):1256-67. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01527-13. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Requirement of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa CbrA sensor kinase for full virulence in a murine acute lung infection model.

Author information

Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is a major cause of respiratory tract and other nosocomial infections. The sensor kinase CbrA is a central regulator of carbon and nitrogen metabolism and in vitro also regulates virulence-related processes in P. aeruginosa. Here, we investigated the role of CbrA in two murine models of infection. In both peritoneal infections in leukopenic mice and lung infection models, the cbrA mutant was less virulent since substantially larger numbers of cbrA mutant bacteria were required to cause the same level of infection as wild-type or complemented bacteria. In contrast, in the chronic rat lung model the cbrA mutant grew and persisted as well as the wild type, indicating that the decrease of in vivo virulence of the cbrA mutant did not result from growth deficiencies on particular carbon substrates observed in vitro. In addition, a mutant in the cognate response regulator CbrB showed no defect in virulence in the peritoneal infection model, ruling out the involvement of certain alterations of virulence properties in the cbrA mutant including defective swarming motility, increased biofilm formation, and cytotoxicity, since these alterations are controlled through CbrB. Further investigations indicated that the mutant was more susceptible to uptake by phagocytes in vitro, resulting in greater overall bacterial killing. Consistent with the virulence defect, it took a smaller number of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae to kill the cbrA mutant than to kill the wild type. Transcriptional analysis of the cbrA mutant during D. discoideum infection led to the conclusion that CbrA played an important role in the iron metabolism, protection of P. aeruginosa against oxidative stress, and the regulation of certain virulence factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center