Role of quorum sensing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in microbial keratitis and cystic fibrosis

M.D.P. Willcox, H. Zhu, T.C.R. Conibear, E.B.H. Hume, Michael Christian Givskov, S. Kjelleberg, S.A. Rice

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous bacterium that causes opportunistic infections in a range of host tissues and organs. Infections by P. aeruginosa are difficult to treat and hence there is interest in the development of effective therapeutics. One of the key mechanisms that P. aeruginosa uses to control the expression of many virulence factors is the N-acylated homoserine lactone (AHL) regulatory system. Hence, there is considerable interest in targeting this regulatory pathway to develop novel therapeutics for infection control. P. aeruginosa is the principal cause of microbial keratitis and of infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) sufferers, and AHL-dependent cell-to-cell signalling has been shown to be important for both infection types. However, keratitis tends to be an acute infection whereas infection of CF patients develops into a chronic, lifelong infection. Thus, it is unclear whether AHL-regulated virulence plays the same role during these infections. This review presents a comparison of the role of AHL signalling in P. aeruginosa-mediated microbial keratitis and chronic lung infections of CF patients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2184-2194
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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