Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits the growth of Cryptococcus species.
ABSTRACT Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous and opportunistic bacterium that inhibits the growth of different microorganisms, including Gram-positive bacteria and fungi such as Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus. In this study, we investigated the interaction between P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus spp. We found that P. aeruginosa PA14 and, to a lesser extent, PAO1 significantly inhibited the growth of Cryptococcus spp. The inhibition of growth was observed on solid medium by the visualization of a zone of inhibition of yeast growth and in liquid culture by viable cell counting. Interestingly, such inhibition was only observed when P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus were co-cultured. Minimal inhibition was observed when cell-cell contact was prevented using a separation membrane, suggesting that cell contact is required for inhibition. Using mutant strains of Pseudomonas quinoline signaling, we showed that P. aeruginosa inhibited the growth of Cryptococcus spp. by producing antifungal molecules pyocyanin, a redox-active phenazine, and 2-heptyl-3,4-dihydroxyquinoline (PQS), an extracellular quorum-sensing signal. Because both P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus neoformans are commonly found in lung infections of immunocompromised patients, this study may have important implication for the interaction of these microbes in both an ecological and a clinical point of view.