Contribution of quorum sensing to the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in pressure ulcer infection in rats
ABSTRACT The impact of quorum sensing (QS) in in vivo models of infection has been widely investigated, but there are no descriptions for ischemic wound infection. To explore the role of QS in Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the establishment of ischemic wound infection, we challenged a pressure ulcer model in rats with the PAO-1, PAO-1 derivatives ΔlasIΔrhlI and ΔlasRΔrhlR strains, which cannot induce the virulence factor under QS control, thus the reduced tissue destruction was expended in these mutant strains. However unexpectedly, on postwounding day 3, the inflammatory responses in the three groups were similarly severe and the numbers of bacteria in tissue samples did not differ among the three strains. Biofilm formation was immature in QS-deficient strains, defined by the absence of dense bacterial aggregates and extracellular polymeric substance, which was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS signal, acylated homoserine lactone, was only quantified from wound samples in the PAO-1 group. The swimming and twitching motilities were significantly enhanced in the ΔlasRΔrhlR group compared with the PAO-1 group in vitro. A significantly larger wound area was correlated with the bacterial motility. The inflammation in the early phase of bacterial challenge to wounds with immature biofilm formation in the QS-deficient strains indicated that the role of QS was more crucial for the chronic phase than for the acute phase of infection. The present findings indicate a difference in the importance of QS in ischemic wound infections compared with other infection models.
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ABSTRACT: Data supporting the concept that microbial biofilms are a major cause of non-healing ulcers remain limited. A porcine model was established where delayed healing resulted from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in full-thickness wounds. At the end of one study a wound remaining open was sampled and a MRSA strain was isolated. This pig-passaged strain was used as the inoculating strain in several subsequent studies. The resulting MRSA wound infections exhibited a greater, more stable tissue bioburden than seen in studies using the parent strain. Furthermore, wounds infected with the passaged strain experienced a greater delay in healing. To understand whether these changes corresponded to an increased biofilm character of the wound infection, wound biopsy samples from studies using either the parent or passaged MRSA strains were examined microscopically. Evidence of biofilm was observed for both strains, as most samples at a minimum had multiple isolated, dense microcolonies of bacteria. However, the passaged MRSA resulted in bacterial colonies of greater frequency and size that occurred more often in concatenated fashion to generate extended sections of biofilm. These results provide a model case in which increasing biofilm character of a wound infection corresponded with a greater delay in wound healing.Wound Repair and Regeneration 06/2012; 20(4):537-43. DOI:10.1111/j.1524-475X.2012.00808.x · 2.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although bacterial biofilm is recognized as an important contributor to chronic wound pathogenesis, differences in biofilm virulence between species have never been studied in vivo. Dermal punch wounds in New Zealand white rabbit ears were inoculated with Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or left uninfected as controls. In vivo biofilm was established and maintained using procedures from our previously published wound biofilm model. Virulence was assessed by measurement of histologic wound healing and host inflammatory mediators. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and bacterial counts verified biofilm viability. Extracellular polymeric substance (EPS)-deficient P aeruginosa was used for comparison. SEM confirmed the presence of wound biofilm for each species. P aeruginosa biofilm-infected wounds showed significantly more healing impairment than uninfected, K pneumoniae, and S aureus (p < 0.05), while also triggering the largest host inflammatory response (p < 0.05). Extracellular polymeric substance-deficient P aeruginosa demonstrated a reduced impact on the same quantitative endpoints relative to its wild-type strain (p < 0.05). Our novel analysis demonstrates that individual bacterial species possess distinct levels of biofilm virulence. Biofilm EPS may represent an integral part of their distinct pathogenicity. Rigorous examination of species-dependent differences in biofilm virulence is critical to developing specific therapeutics, while lending insight to the interactions within clinically relevant, polybacterial biofilms.Journal of the American College of Surgeons 06/2012; 215(3):388-99. DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2012.05.028 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The recent literature suggests that chronic wound biofilms often consist of multiple bacterial species. However, without appropriate in vivo, polybacterial biofilm models, our understanding of these complex infections remains limited. We evaluate and compare the effect of single- and mixed-species biofilm infections on host wound healing dynamics using a quantitative, in vivo, rabbit ear model. Six-mm dermal punch wounds in New Zealand rabbit ears were inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus strain UAMS-1, Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1, or both, totaling 10/6 colony-forming units/wound. Bacterial proliferation and maintenance in vivo were done using procedures from our previously published model. Wounds were harvested for histological measurement of wound healing, viable bacterial counts using selective media, or inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, TNF-α) expression via quantitative reverse-transcription PCR. Biofilm structure was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). For comparison, biofilm deficient mutant UAMS-929 replaced strain UAMS-1 in some mixed-species infections. Bacterial counts verified the presence of both strains UAMS-1 and PAO1 in polybacterial wounds. Over time, strain PAO1 became predominant (p<0.001). SEM showed colocalization of both species within an extracellular matrix at multiple time-points. Compared to each monospecies infection, polybacterial biofilms impaired all wound healing parameters (p<0.01), and increased expression of IL-1β and TNF-α (p<0.05). In contrast, mixed-species infections using biofilm-deficient mutant UAMS-929 instead of wild-type strain UAMS-1 showed less wound impairment (p<0.01) with decreased host cytokine expression (p<0.01), despite a bacterial burden and distribution comparable to that of mixed-wild-type wounds. This study reveals that mixed-species biofilms have a greater impact on wound healing dynamics than their monospecies counterparts. The increased virulence of polybacterial biofilm appears dependent on the combined pathogenicity of each species, verified using a mutant strain. These data suggest that individual bacterial species can interact synergistically within a single biofilm structure.PLoS ONE 08/2012; 7(8):e42897. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0042897 · 3.53 Impact Factor