ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in using the cyanogenic properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to develop a nonmicrobiological method for its detection. Prior to this, the variation in cyanide production between different P. aeruginosa strains needs to be investigated. Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) released into the gas phase by 96 genotyped P. aeruginosa samples was measured using selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry after 24, 48, 72 and 96 h of incubation. The HCN produced by a range of non-P. aeruginosa cultures and incubated blank plates was also measured. All P. aeruginosa strains produced more HCN than the control samples, which generated extremely low levels. Analysis across all time-points demonstrated that nonmucoid samples produced more HCN than the mucoid samples (p=0.003), but this relationship varied according to strain. There were clear differences in the headspace HCN concentration for different strains. Multivariate analysis of headspace HCN for the commonest strains (Liverpool, Midlands_1 and Stoke-on-Trent, UK) revealed a significant effect of strain (p<0.001) and a borderline interaction of strain and phenotype (p=0.051). This evidence confirms that all P. aeruginosa strains produce HCN but to varying degrees and generates interest in the possible future clinical applications of the cyanogenic properties of P. aeruginosa.
European Respiratory Journal 01/2011; 38(2):409-14. · 5.89 Impact Factor