Back close

Increased Innate Immune Susceptibility in Hyperpigmented Bacteriophage-Resistant Mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Publication Type : Journal Article

Source : Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2022): e00239-22

Url :

Campus : Amritapuri

School : School of Biotechnology

Department : biotechnology

Year : 2022

Abstract : Bacteriophage (phage) therapy is an alternative to traditional antibiotic treatments that is particularly important for multidrug-resistant pathogens, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Unfortunately, phage resistance commonly arises during treatment as bacteria evolve to survive phage predation. During in vitro phage treatment of a P. aeruginosa-type strain, we observed the emergence of phage-resistant mutants with brown pigmentation that was indicative of pyomelanin. As increased pyomelanin (due to hmgA gene mutation) was recently associated with enhanced resistance to hydrogen peroxide and persistence in experimental lung infection, we questioned if therapeutic phage applications could inadvertently select for hypervirulent populations. Pyomelanogenic phage-resistant mutants of P. aeruginosa PAO1 were selected for upon treatment with three distinct phages. Phage-resistant pyomelanogenic mutants did not possess increased survival of pyomelanogenic ΔhmgA in hydrogen peroxide. At the genomic level, large (~300 kb) deletions in the phage-resistant mutants resulted in the loss of ≥227 genes, many of which had roles in survival, virulence, and antibiotic resistance. Phage-resistant pyomelanogenic mutants were hypersusceptible to cationic peptides LL-37 and colistin and were more easily cleared in human whole blood, serum, and a murine infection model. Our findings suggest that hyperpigmented phage-resistant mutants that may arise during phage therapy are markedly less virulent than their predecessors due to large genomic deletions. Thus, their existence does not present a contraindication to using anti-pseudomonal phage therapy, especially considering that these mutants develop drug susceptibility to the familiar FDA-approved antibiotic, colistin.

Cite this Research Publication : Menon, Nitasha D., Samuel Penziner, Elizabeth T. Montaño, Raymond Zurich, David T. Pride, Bipin G. Nair, Geetha B. Kumar, and Victor Nizet. "Increased Innate Immune Susceptibility in Hyperpigmented Bacteriophage-Resistant Mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2022): e00239-22

Admissions Apply Now