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The Identification of Novel Antibiotics for use in Treating Lung Infections in Cystic Fibrosis
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) lung infections are responsible for much of the mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF). However, little is known about the ecological interactions between these two, often co-infecting, species. This research addresses what is believed to be the first report of the intra- and interspecies bacteriocin-like inhibition potential of Pa and Bcc strains recovered from CF patients. Strains of both species were screened, and shown to possess bacteriocin-like inhibitory activity (97% of Pa strains and 68% of Bcc strains showed inhibitory activity), much of which acted across species boundaries. Further phenotypic and molecular-based assays revealed that the source of this inhibition differs for the two species. In Pa, much of the inhibitory activity is due to the well-known S and RF pyocins. In contrast, Bcc inhibition is due to unknown mechanisms, although RF-like toxins were implicated in some strains. These data suggest that bacteriocin-based inhibition may play a role in governing Pa and Bcc interactions in the CF lung and may, therefore, offer a novel approach to mediating these often fatal infections.