Characterising novel anti-biofilm targets for the treatment of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in the cystic fibrosis lung

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Date
2014
Authors
McCarthy, Ronan
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University College Cork
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Abstract
The global rise in antibiotic resistance is a significant problem facing healthcare professionals. In particular within the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung, bacteria can establish chronic infection and resistance to a wide array of antibiotic therapies. One of the principle pathogens associated with chronic infection in the CF lung is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa can establish chronic infection in the CF lung partly through the use of the biofilm mode of growth. This biofilm mode of growth offers a considerable degree of protection from a wide variety of challenges such as the host immune system or antibiotic therapy. The threat posed by the emergence of chronic pathogens is prompting the development of next generation antimicrobials. The biofilm mode of growth is often central to the establishment of chronic infection and the development of antibiotic resistance. Thus, targeting biofilm formation has emerged as one of the principle strategies for the development of next generation antimicrobials. In this thesis two separate approaches were used to identify potential anti - biofilm targets. The first strategy focused on the identification of novel genes with a role in a biofilm formation. High throughput screening identified almost 300 genes which had a role in biofilm formation. A number of these genes were characterised at a phenotypic and a molecular level. The second strategy focused on the identification of compounds capable of inhibiting biofilm formation. A collection of marine sponge isolated bacteria were screened for the ability to inhibit the central pathway regulating biofilm formation, quorum sensing. A number of distinct isolates were identified that had quorum sensing inhibition activity from which, a Pseudomonas isolate was selected for further characterisation. A specific compound capable of inhibiting quorum sensing was identified using chemical analytical technologies in the supernatant of this marine isolate.
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Keywords
Biofilm , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Quorum sensing
Citation
McCarthy, R. 2014. Characterising novel anti-biofilm targets for the treatment of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in the cystic fibrosis lung. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.