Research ArticleCystic Fibrosis

Filamentous bacteriophages are associated with chronic Pseudomonas lung infections and antibiotic resistance in cystic fibrosis

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Science Translational Medicine  17 Apr 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 488, eaau9748
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau9748

Infection-boosting phage

Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection is common in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Filamentous bacteriophage (Pf phage) can infect P. aeruginosa and has been shown to contribute to the virulence of infection in animal models. However, whether Pf phage plays a role in the pathogenicity of P. aeruginosa in CF is unknown. Now, Burgener et al. showed that Pf phage was abundantly expressed in sputum samples from two large cohorts of patients with CF. The presence of Pf phage was associated with increased antibiotic resistance and reduced lung function. The results suggest that Pf phage might play a role in the pathogenicity of P. aeruginosa infection in CF.

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