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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2015;11(1):14-20. doi: 10.4161/hv.34296. Epub 2014 Nov 1.

Vaccination against respiratory Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.

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a School of Medicine; Griffith University; Gold Coast, Queensland Australia.


Respiratory infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are a major clinical problem globally, particularly for patients with chronic pulmonary disorders, such as those with cystic fibrosis (CF), non-CF bronchiectasis (nCFB) and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, critically ill and immunocompromised patients are also at significant risk of P. aeruginosa infection. For almost half a century, research efforts have focused toward development of a vaccine against infections caused by P. aeruginosa, but a licensed vaccine is not yet available. Significant advances in identifying potential vaccine antigens have been made. Immunisations via both the mucosal and systemic routes have been trialled in animal models and their effectiveness in clearing acute infections demonstrated. The challenge for translation of this research to human applications remains, since P. aeruginosa infections in the human respiratory tract can present both as an acute or chronic infection. In addition, immunisation prior to infection may not be possible for many patients with CF, nCFB or COPD. Therefore, development of a therapeutic vaccine provides an alternative approach for treatment of chronic infection. Preliminary animal and human studies suggest that mucosal immunisation may be effective as a therapeutic vaccine against P. aeruginosa respiratory infections. Nevertheless, more research is needed to improve our understanding of the basic biology of P. aeruginosa and the mechanisms needed to upregulate the induction of host immune pathways to prevent infection. Recognition of variability in the host immune responses for a range of patient health conditions at risk from P. aeruginosa infection is also required to support development of a successful vaccine delivery strategy and vaccine. Activation of mucosal immune responses may provide improved efficacy of vaccination for P. aeruginosa during both acute exacerbations and chronic infection.


P. aeruginosa; bronchiectasis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cystic fibrosis; mucosal immunity; oral immunisation; vaccine

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