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Can J Microbiol. 2002 Aug;48(8):707-16.

Interspecies communication between Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary Health Sciences Center, AB, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Can J Microbiol. 2002 Sep;48(9):855.


Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are opportunistic pathogens that commonly cause pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis patients and occasionally co-infect patients' lungs. Both organisms possess quorum-sensing systems dependent on N-acyl homoserine lactone (N-acyl-HSL). Cross-feeding assays demonstrated that P. aeruginosa and B. cepacia were able to utilize heterologous N-acyl-HSL signaling molecules. The ability of quorum-sensing genes from one species to complement the respective quorum-sensing mutations in the heterologous species was also examined. These studies suggest that B. cepacia CepR can use N-acyl-HSLs synthesized by RhlI and LasI and that P. aeruginosa LasR and RhlR can use N-acyl-HSLs synthesized by CepI. It is possible that a mixed bacterial population of B. cepacia and P. aeruginosa can coordinately regulate some of their virulence factors and influence the progression of lung disease due to infection with these organisms.

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