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Curr Microbiol. 1995 Aug;31(2):124-8.

Reactive oxygen species in the killing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by human leukocytes.

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Physiology Program, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infects hosts with compromised host defenses. An important defense mechanism is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by white blood cells (WBCs). What roles do ROS play in host defense against PA? Human WBCs killed PA in vitro, and they generated a respiratory burst as measured by the production of H2O2. ROS efficiently killed PA; in acellular assays, less than 10 mM of H2O2 or OCl- eliminated all bacteria in 90 min. However, WBCs with suppressed production of ROS (caused by hypoxia) killed PA normally. In addition, none of the antioxidants vitamin C, N-acetylcysteine, superoxide dismutase, or catalase affected PA killing by WBCs. Thus, PA stimulates WBCs to produce ROS, which can kill the bacteria, but disturbances of WBC ROS production do not interfere with the killing of PA. WBCs have robust, redundant mechanisms for PA elimination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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