Temperate Bacteriophages from Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa Lung Infections Show Disease-Specific Changes in Host Range and Modulate Antimicrobial Susceptibility.
ABSTRACT: Temperate bacteriophages are a common feature of Pseudomonas aeruginosa genomes, but their role in chronic lung infections is poorly understood. This study was designed to identify the diverse communities of mobile P. aeruginosa phages by employing novel metagenomic methods, to determine cross infectivity, and to demonstrate the influence of phage infection on antimicrobial susceptibility. Mixed temperate phage populations were chemically mobilized from individual P. aeruginosa, isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) or bronchiectasis (BR). The infectivity phenotype of each temperate phage lysate was evaluated by performing a cross-infection screen against all bacterial isolates and tested for associations with clinical variables. We utilized metagenomic sequencing data generated for each phage lysate and developed a novel bioinformatic approach allowing resolution of individual temperate phage genomes. Finally, we used a subset of the temperate phages to infect P. aeruginosa PAO1 and tested the resulting lysogens for their susceptibility to antibiotics. Here, we resolved 105 temperate phage genomes from 94 lysates that phylogenetically clustered into 8 groups. We observed disease-specific phage infectivity profiles and found that phages induced from bacteria isolated from more advanced disease infected broader ranges of P. aeruginosa isolates. Importantly, when infecting PAO1 in vitro with 20 different phages, 8 influenced antimicrobial susceptibility. This study shows that P. aeruginosa isolated from CF and BR patients harbors diverse communities of inducible phages, with hierarchical infectivity profiles that relate to the progression of the disease. Temperate phage infection altered the antimicrobial susceptibility of PAO1 at subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics, suggesting they may be precursory to antimicrobial resistance.IMPORTANCE Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a key opportunistic respiratory pathogen in patients with cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. The genomes of these pathogens are enriched with mobile genetic elements including diverse temperate phages. While the temperate phages of the Liverpool epidemic strain have been shown to be active in the human lung and enhance fitness in a rat lung infection model, little is known about their mobilization more broadly across P. aeruginosa in chronic respiratory infection. Using a novel metagenomic approach, we identified eight groups of temperate phages that were mobilized from 94 clinical P. aeruginosa isolates. Temperate phages from P. aeruginosa isolated from more advanced disease showed high infectivity rates across a wide range of P. aeruginosa genotypes. Furthermore, we showed that multiple phages altered the susceptibility of PAO1 to antibiotics at subinhibitory concentrations.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes serious intractable infections in humans and animals. Bacteriophage (phage) therapy has been applied to treat P. aeruginosa infections, and phages belonging to the PB1-like virus genus in the Myoviridae family have been used as therapeutic phages. To achieve safer and more effective phage therapy, the use of preadapted phages is proposed. To understand in detail such phage preadaptation, the short-term antagonistic evolution of bacteria and phages should be studied. In this study, the short-term antagonistic evolution of bacteria and PB1-like phage was examined by studying phage-resistant clones of P. aeruginosa strain PAO1 and mutant PB1-like phages that had recovered their infectivity. First, phage KPP22 was isolated and characterized; it was classified as belonging to the PB1-like virus genus in the Myoviridae family. Subsequently, three KPP22-resistant PAO1 clones and three KPP22 mutant phages capable of infecting these clones were isolated in three sets of in vitro experiments. It was shown that the bacterial resistance to phage KPP22 was caused by significant decreases in phage adsorption and that the improved infectivity of KPP22 mutant phages was caused by significant increases in phage adsorption. The KPP22-resistant PAO1 clones and the KPP22 mutant phages were then analyzed genetically. All three KPP22-resistant PAO1 clones, which were deficient for the O5 antigen, had a common nonsense mutation in the wzy gene. All the KPP22 mutant phage genomes showed the same four missense mutations in the open reading frames orf060, orf065, and orf086 The information obtained in this study should be useful for further development of safe and efficient phage therapy.Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes serious intractable infections in humans and animals; bacteriophage (phage) therapy has been utilized to treat P. aeruginosa infections, and phages that belong to the PB1-like virus genus in the family Myoviridae have been used as therapeutic phages. The preadapted phage is trained in advance through the antagonistic evolution of bacteria and phage and is proposed to be used to achieve safer and more effective phage therapy. In this study, to understand the phage preadaptation, the in vitro short-term antagonistic evolution was studied using P. aeruginosa strain PAO1 and the newly isolated PB1-like phage KPP22. Phage KPP22 was characterized, and the molecular framework regarding the phage preadaptation of KPP22 was elucidated. The importance of study of antagonistic evolution of bacteria and phage in phage therapy is discussed.
Project description:The Liverpool Epidemic Strain (LES) is a polylysogenic, transmissible strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, capable of superinfecting existing P. aeruginosa respiratory infections in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF). The LES phages are highly active in the CF lung and may have a role in the competitiveness of the LES in vivo. In this study, we tested this by competing isogenic PAO1 strains that differed only by the presence or absence of LES prophages in a rat model of chronic lung infection. Lysogens invaded phage-susceptible populations, both in head-to-head competition and when invading from rare, in the spatially structured, heterogeneous lung environment. Appreciable densities of free phages in lung tissue confirmed active phage lysis in vivo. Moreover, we observed lysogenic conversion of the phage-susceptible competitor. These results suggest that temperate phages may have an important role in the competitiveness of the LES in chronic lung infection by acting as anti-competitor weapons.
Project description:The rapid rise of antibiotic resistance has renewed interest in phage therapy - the use of bacteria-specific viruses (phages) to treat bacterial infections. Even though phages are often pathogen-specific, little is known about the efficiency and eco-evolutionary outcomes of phage therapy in polymicrobial infections. We studied this experimentally by exposing both quorum-sensing (QS) signalling PAO1 and QS-deficient lasR Pseudomonas aeruginosa genotypes (differing in their ability to signal intraspecifically) to lytic PT7 phage in the presence and absence of two bacterial competitors: Staphylococcus aureus and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia-two bacteria commonly associated with P. aeruginosa in polymicrobial cystic fibrosis lung infections. Both the P. aeruginosa genotype and the presence of competitors had profound effects on bacteria and phage densities and bacterial resistance evolution. In general, competition reduced the P. aeruginosa frequencies leading to a lower rate of resistance evolution. This effect was clearer with QS signalling PAO1 strain due to lower bacteria and phage densities and relatively larger pleiotropic growth cost imposed by both phages and competitors. Unexpectedly, phage selection decreased the total bacterial densities in the QS-deficient lasR pathogen communities, while an increase was observed in the QS signalling PAO1 pathogen communities. Together these results suggest that bacterial competition can shape the eco-evolutionary outcomes of phage therapy.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa), normally a soil commensal, is an important opportunistic pathogen in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis (nCFBR). Persistent infection correlates with accelerated decline in lung function and early mortality. The horizontal transfer of DNA by temperate bacteriophages can add gene function and selective advantages to their bacterial host within the constrained environment of the lower lung. In this study, we chemically induce temperate bacteriophages from clonal cultures of Pa and identify their mixed viral communities employing metagenomic approaches. We compared 92 temperate phage metagenomes stratified from these clinical backgrounds (47 CF and 45 nCFBR Pa isolates) using MG-RAST and GeneWise2. KEGG analysis shows the complexity of temperate phage accessory gene carriage increases with duration and severity of the disease. Furthermore, we identify the presence of Ig-like motifs within phage structural genes linked to bacterial adhesion and carbohydrate binding including Big_2, He_Pig, and Fn3. This study provides the first clinical support to the proposed bacteriophage adherence to mucus (BAM) model and the evolution of phages interacting at these mucosal surfaces over time.
Project description:Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary disease due to mutations in the CFTR gene and causes mortality in humans mainly due to respiratory infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In a previous work we used phage therapy, which is a treatment with a mix of phages, to actively counteract acute P. aeruginosa infections in mice and Galleria mellonella larvae. In this work we apply phage therapy to the treatment of P. aeruginosa PAO1 infections in a CF zebrafish model. The structure of the CFTR channel is evolutionary conserved between fish and mammals and cftr-loss-of-function zebrafish embryos show a phenotype that recapitulates the human disease, in particular with destruction of the pancreas. We show that phage therapy is able to decrease lethality, bacterial burden, and the pro-inflammatory response caused by PAO1 infection. In addition, phage administration relieves the constitutive inflammatory state of CF embryos. To our knowledge, this is the first time that phage therapy is used to cure P. aeruginosa infections in a CF animal model. We also find that the curative effect against PAO1 infections is improved by combining phages and antibiotic treatments, opening a useful therapeutic approach that could reduce antibiotic doses and time of administration.
Project description:Pf bacteriophage are temperate phages that infect the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major cause of chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) and other settings. Pf and other temperate phages have evolved complex, mutualistic relationships with their bacterial hosts that impact both bacterial phenotypes and chronic infection. We and others have reported that Pf phages are a virulence factor that promote the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infections in animal models and are associated with worse skin and lung infections in humans. Here we review the biology of Pf phage and what is known about its contributions to pathogenesis and clinical disease. First, we review the structure, genetics, and epidemiology of Pf phage. Next, we address the diverse and surprising ways that Pf phages contribute to P. aeruginosa phenotypes including effects on biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance, and motility. Then, we cover data indicating that Pf phages suppress mammalian immunity at sites of bacterial infection. Finally, we discuss recent literature implicating Pf in chronic P. aeruginosa infections in CF and other settings. Together, these reports suggest that Pf bacteriophage have direct effects on P. aeruginosa infections and that temperate phages are an exciting frontier in microbiology, immunology, and human health.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common bacterial pathogen infecting the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. The transmissible Liverpool epidemic strain (LES) harbours multiple inducible prophages (LES?2; LES?3; LES?4; LES?5; and LES?6), some of which are known to confer a competitive advantage in an in vivo rat model of chronic lung infection. We used quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) to measure the density and dynamics of all five LES phages in the sputa of 10 LES-infected CF patients over a period of 2 years. In all patients, the densities of free-LES phages were positively correlated with the densities of P. aeruginosa, and total free-phage densities consistently exceeded bacterial host densities 10-100-fold. Further, we observed a negative correlation between the phage-to-bacterium ratio and bacterial density, suggesting a role for lysis by temperate phages in regulation of the bacterial population densities. In 9/10 patients, LES?2 and LES?4 were the most abundant free phages, which reflects the differential in vitro induction properties of the phages. These data indicate that temperate phages of P. aeruginosa retain lytic activity after prolonged periods of chronic infection in the CF lung, and suggest that temperate phage lysis may contribute to regulation of P. aeruginosa density in vivo.
Project description:With the increase of infections due to multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens and the shortage of antimicrobial molecules with novel targets, interest in bacteriophages as a therapeutic option has regained much attraction. Before the launch of future clinical trials, in vitro studies are required to better evaluate the efficacies and potential pitfalls of such therapies. Here we studied in an ex vivo human airway epithelial cell line model the efficacy of phage and ciprofloxacin alone and in combination to treat infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The Calu-3 cell line and the isogenic CFTR knock down cell line (cftr-) infected apically with P. aeruginosa strain PAO1 showed a progressive reduction in transepithelial resistance during 24 h. Administration at 6 h p.i. of single phage, phage cocktails or ciprofloxacin alone prevented epithelial layer destruction at 24 h p.i. Bacterial regrowth, due to phage resistant mutants harboring mutations in LPS synthesis genes, occurred thereafter both in vitro and ex vivo. However, co-administration of two phages combined with ciprofloxacin efficiently prevented PAO1 regrowth and maintained epithelial cell integrity at 72 p.i. The phage/ciprofloxacin treatment did not induce an inflammatory response in the tested cell lines as determined by nanoString® gene expression analysis. We conclude that combination of phage and ciprofloxacin efficiently protects wild type and cftr- epithelial cells from infection by P. aeruginosa and emergence of phage resistant mutants without inducing an inflammatory response. Hence, phage-antibiotic combination should be a safe and promising anti-Pseudomonas therapy for future clinical trials potentially including cystic fibrosis patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes lung infections in patients suffering from the genetic disorder Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Once a chronic lung infection is established, P. aeruginosa cannot be eradicated by antibiotic treatment. Phage therapy is an alternative to treat these chronic P. aeruginosa infections. However, little is known about the factors which influence phage infection of P. aeruginosa under infection conditions and suitable broad host range phages. RESULTS: We isolated and characterized a phage, named JG024, which infects a broad range of clinical and environmental P. aeruginosa strains. Sequencing of the phage genome revealed that the phage JG024 is highly related to the ubiquitous and conserved PB1-like phages. The receptor of phage JG024 was determined as lipopolysaccharide. We used an artificial sputum medium to study phage infection under conditions similar to a chronic lung infection. Alginate production was identified as a factor reducing phage infectivity. CONCLUSIONS: Phage JG024 is a suitable broad host range phage which could be used in phage therapy. Phage infection experiments under simulated chronic lung infection conditions showed that alginate production reduces phage infection efficiency.
Project description:Antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms necessitates the need for novel antimicrobial therapy with anti-biofilm properties. Bacteriophages (phages) are recognized as an ideal biopharmaceutical for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria especially when used in combination with antibiotics. However, previous studies primarily focused on using phages against of P. aeruginosa biofilms of laboratory strains. In the present study, biofilms of six P. aeruginosa isolated from cystic fibrosis and wound patients, and one laboratory strain was treated singly and with combinations of anti-Pseudomonas phage PEV20 and ciprofloxacin. Of these strains, three were highly susceptible to the phage, while one was partially resistant and one was completely resistant. Combination treatment with PEV20 and ciprofloxacin enhanced biofilm eradication compared with single treatment. Phage and ciprofloxacin synergy was found to depend on phage-resistance profile of the target bacteria. Furthermore, phage and ciprofloxacin combination formulation protected the lung epithelial and fibroblast cells from P. aeruginosa and promoted cell growth. The results demonstrated that thorough screening of phage-resistance is crucial for designing phage-antibiotic formulation. The addition of highly effective phage could reduce the ciprofloxacin concentration required to combat P. aeruginosa infections associated with biofilm in cystic fibrosis and wound patients.