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Quorum-sensing-regulated virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are toxic to Lucilia sericata maggots

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Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is widely used for debridement of chronic infected wounds; however, for wounds harbouring specific bacteria limited effect or failure of the treatment has been described. Here we studied the survival of Lucilia sericata maggots encountering Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 in a simple assay with emphasis on the quorum-sensing (QS)-regulated virulence. The maggots were challenged with GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa wild-type (WT) PAO1 and a GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa DeltalasR rhlR (DeltaRR) QS-deficient mutant in different concentrations. Maggots were killed in the presence of WT PAO1 whereas the challenge with the QS mutant showed a survival reduction of approximately 25 % compared to negative controls. Furthermore, bacterial intake by the maggots was lower in the presence of WT PAO1 compared to the PAO1 DeltaRR mutant. Maggot excretions/secretions (ES) were assayed for the presence of QS inhibitors; only high doses of ES showed inhibition of QS in P. aeruginosa. Thus P. aeruginosa was shown to be toxic to L. sericata maggots. This, coupled to the preferential feeding by the maggots and reduced ingestion of P. aeruginosa, could explain MDT failure in wounds colonized by P. aeruginosa. Wounds heavily colonized with P. aeruginosa should be a counterindication for MDT unless used in combination with a pre-treatment with other topical therapeutics targeting P. aeruginosa.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology
Volume156
Issue numberPt 2
Pages (from-to)400-7
Number of pages8
ISSN1350-0872
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010

ID: 31022282