In the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), the main pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is often co-isolated with other microbes, likely engaging in inter-species interactions. In the case of chronic co-infections, this cohabitation can last for a long time and evolve over time, potentially contributing to the clinical outcome. Interactions involving the emerging pathogens Achromobacter spp. have only rarely been studied, reporting inhibition of P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. To evaluate the possible evolution of such interplay, we assessed the ability of Achromobacter spp. isolates to affect the biofilm formation of co-isolated P. aeruginosa strains during long-term chronic co-infections. We observed both competition and cohabitation. An Achromobacter sp. isolate secreted exoproducts interfering with the adhesion ability of a co-isolated P. aeruginosa strain and affected its biofilm formation. Conversely, a clonal Achromobacter sp. strain later isolated from the same patient, as well as two longitudinal strains from another patient, did not show similar competitive behavior against its P. aeruginosa co-isolates. Genetic variants supporting the higher virulence of the competitive Achromobacter sp. isolate were found in its genome. Our results confirm that both inter-species competition and cohabitation are represented during chronic co-infections in CF airways, and evolution of these interplays can happen even at the late stages of chronic infection.
Sandri, Angela;Veschetti, Laura;Johansen, Helle Krogh;Molin, Søren;Malerba, Giovanni;Signoretto, Caterina;Boaretti, Marzia;Lleo, Maria M
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