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Mahesh B. K. Bandara, Hua Zhu, Padmaja R. Sankaridurg, Mark D. P. Willcox; Salicylic Acid Reduces the Production of Several Potential Virulence Factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Associated with Microbial Keratitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(10):4453-4460. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0288.
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purpose. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common cause of contact-lens–related microbial keratitis. This bacterium is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, and even if the infection can be treated with antibiotics, damage to the cornea resulting from the combined effect of bacteria and host factors can lead to loss of vision. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of salicylic acid on the production of potential virulence factors during the growth of P. aeruginosa.
methods. Bacterial cells were grown in a subinhibitory concentration of salicylic acid, and supernatants were collected and analyzed for presence of proteases by using zymography and hydrolysis of chromogenic substrates. The supernatants were also analyzed for the amount of acetylated homoserine lactones by using bacterial reporter strains. Pseudomonas cells from salicylic acid cultures were analyzed for their twitching and swimming motility as well as their ability to invade or cause the death of corneal epithelial cells.
results. Growth in a subinhibitory concentration of salicylic acid resulted in a significant reduction in the number of bacterial cells and a reduction in the rate of the number of bacteria increasing during logarithmic growth, but the time to reach the stationary phase of growth was unchanged. These changes in growth pattern affected the amount of acylated homoserine lactones produced by P. aeruginosa 6294. Also affected by growth in salicylic acid was the ability of strain 6294 to show twitching or swimming motility. Salicylic acid also reduced the invasion of strain 6294 into corneal epithelial cells and the epithelial cell death caused by strain 6206. Furthermore, production of proteases by P. aeruginosa was significantly reduced by growth in salicylic acid.
conclusions. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that salicylic acid has a significant impact on several potential virulence factors of P. aeruginosa that may be involved in the production of microbial keratitis. These effects were probably mediated by reduction in the cell density and concomitant reduction in the quorum-sensing signaling molecules, the acylated homoserine lactones, produced by P. aeruginosa.
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