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mSphere. 2016 Apr 27;1(2). pii: e00111-15. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00111-15. eCollection 2016 Mar-Apr.

Effect of Human Burn Wound Exudate on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence.

Author information

1
Microbiology Unit, Department of Botany and Plant Biology, Sciences III, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
2
Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery, Unit of Regenerative Therapy, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Service of Adult Intensive Care Medicine & Burns, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Burn wound sepsis is currently the main cause of morbidity and mortality after burn trauma. Infections by notorious pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Acinetobacter baumannii impair patient recovery and can even lead to fatality. In this study, we investigated the effect of burn wound exudates (BWEs) on the virulence of those pathogens. BWEs were collected within 7 days after burn trauma from 5 burn patients. We first monitored their effect on pathogen growth. In contrast to A. baumannii and S. aureus, P. aeruginosa was the only pathogen able to grow within these human fluids. Expression of typical virulence factors such as pyocyanin and pyoverdine was even enhanced compared the levels seen with standard laboratory medium. A detailed chemical composition analysis of BWE was performed, which enabled us to determine the major components of BWE and underline the metabolic modifications induced by burn trauma. These data are essential for the development of an artificial medium mimicking the burn wound environment and the establishment of an in vitro system to analyze the initial steps of burn wound infections. IMPORTANCE Microbial infection of severe burn wounds is currently a major medical challenge. Of the infections by bacteria able to colonize such injuries, those by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are among the most severe, causing major delays in burn patient recovery or leading to fatal issues. In this study, we investigated the growth properties of several burn wound pathogens in biological fluids secreted from human burn wounds. We found that P. aeruginosa strains were able to proliferate but not those of the other pathogens tested. In addition, burn wound exudates (BWEs) stimulate the expression of virulence factors in P. aeruginosa. The chemical composition analysis of BWEs enabled us to determine the major components of these fluids. These data are essential for the development of an artificial medium mimicking the burn wound environment and for in vitro analysis of the initial step in the development of burn wound infections.

KEYWORDS:

Pseudomonas aeruginosa; burn wound exudate; growth; virulence factors

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