We sought to identify which Pseudomonas aeruginosa products are involved in initiating respiratory tract infection. Defined mutants derived from strain PAO, i.e., PAOR1 (lasR), PAO-pmm (algC) (an LPS mutant), and AK1152 (which is Fla- and lacks functional pili), were significantly less virulent than PAO1 in a BALBc/ByJ neonatal mouse model of infection as measured by their abilities to cause acute pneumonia, bacteremia, and death. All three mutants were also less adherent to epithelial cells in an in vitro binding assay. PAOR1 and AK1152 were less able to elicit epithelial production of interleukin-8 than PAO1. LasR was found to be required for the optimal expression of neuraminidase under conditions of increased osmolarity, as might he present in certain pathological conditions. PAO-exsA::Ω, which lacks exoenzyme S expression, was fully virulent, causing at least as much pathology as PAO1. The expression of several P. aeruginosa virulence factors appears to be required to establish pulmonary infection in the neonatal mouse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases