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Microbiol Immunol. 1993;37(7):523-9.

Neutrophil response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in respiratory infection.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Nagasaki University, Japan.


Sputum from patients with acute exacerbation of respiratory infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa was observed under the electron microscope. External to the cell wall of P. aeruginosa a granular, electron-dense material was observed which is suggestive of capsule. It is supposed that stabilization of capsule occurred by the host antibody, which was produced due to chronic infection by P. aeruginosa. Mucoid type of microcolonies were observed with a fibrous matrix of exopolysaccharide. Other types of microcolonies were surrounded by granular substances or fine fibers. Neutrophil was found to be partially surrounding the microcolony in an attempt to defense. Debris was formed mainly by the destruction of the neutrophil. Most neutrophils were found full of phagocytosed debris; in contrast only a few neutrophils were found to have phagocytosed P. aeruginosa. This study concludes that instead of phagocytosing bacteria, neutrophil phagocytosed debris and bacteria were not completely eradicated. Therefore, this might be one of the factors in the pathogenesis of respiratory infection and persistent colonization by P. aeruginosa.

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