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Pulmonary Surfactant Promotes Virulence Gene Expression and Biofilm Formation in Klebsiella pneumoniae.


ABSTRACT: The interactions between Klebsiella pneumoniae and the host environment at the site of infection are largely unknown. Pulmonary surfactant serves as an initial point of contact for inhaled bacteria entering the lung and is thought to contain molecular cues that aid colonization and pathogenesis. To gain insight into this ecological transition, we characterized the transcriptional response of K. pneumoniae MGH 78578 to purified pulmonary surfactant. This work revealed changes within the K. pneumoniae transcriptome that likely contribute to host colonization, adaptation, and virulence in vivo Notable transcripts expressed under these conditions include genes involved in capsule synthesis, lipopolysaccharide modification, antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and metabolism. In addition, we tested the contributions of other surfactant-induced transcripts to K. pneumoniae survival using engineered isogenic KPPR1 deletion strains in a murine model of acute pneumonia. In these infection studies, we identified the MdtJI polyamine efflux pump and the ProU glycine betaine ABC transporter to be significant mediators of K. pneumoniae survival within the lung and confirmed previous evidence for the importance of de novo leucine synthesis to bacterial survival during infection. Finally, we determined that pulmonary surfactant promoted type 3 fimbria-mediated biofilm formation in K. pneumoniae and identified two surfactant constituents, phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol, that drive this response. This study provides novel insight into the interactions occurring between K. pneumoniae and the host at an important infection site and demonstrates the utility of purified lung surfactant preparations for dissecting host-lung pathogen interactions in vitro.

SUBMITTER: Willsey GG 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6013664 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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