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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2014 Apr 1;306(7):L591-603. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00335.2013. Epub 2014 Jan 24.

Mechanisms of phagocytosis and host clearance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, 1 Medical Center Dr., Lebanon, NH 03756.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen responsible for a high incidence of acute and chronic pulmonary infection. These infections are particularly prevalent in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis: much of the morbidity and pathophysiology associated with these diseases is due to a hypersusceptibility to bacterial infection. Innate immunity, primarily through inflammatory cytokine production, cellular recruitment, and phagocytic clearance by neutrophils and macrophages, is the key to endogenous control of P. aeruginosa infection. In this review, we highlight recent advances toward understanding the innate immune response to P. aeruginosa, with a focus on the role of phagocytes in control of P. aeruginosa infection. Specifically, we summarize the cellular and molecular mechanisms of phagocytic recognition and uptake of P. aeruginosa, and how current animal models of P. aeruginosa infection reflect clinical observations in the context of phagocytic clearance of the bacteria. Several notable phenotypic changes to the bacteria are consistently observed during chronic pulmonary infections, including changes to mucoidy and flagellar motility, that likely enable or reflect their ability to persist. These traits are likewise examined in the context of how the bacteria avoid phagocytic clearance, inflammation, and sterilizing immunity.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa; clearance; inflammation; lung; phagocytosis

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