1 Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark2 Center for Systems Microbiology, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark3 National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark4 Section for Bacteriology, Pathology and Parasitology, National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark5 Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark6 Bacterial Cell Factories, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark7 University of Copenhagen
an evolutionary perspective
The airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) are nearly always infected with many different microorganisms. This environment offers warm, humid and nutrient-rich conditions, but is also stressful owing to frequent antibiotic therapy and the host immune response. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is commonly isolated from the airways of patients with CF, where it most often establishes chronic infections that usually persist for the rest of the lives of the patients. This bacterium is a major cause of mortality and morbidity and has therefore been studied intensely. Here, we discuss how P. aeruginosa evolves from a state of early, recurrent intermittent colonization of the airways of patients with CF to a chronic infection state, and how this process offers opportunities to study bacterial evolution in natural environments. We believe that such studies are valuable not only for our understanding of bacterial evolution but also for the future development of new therapeutic strategies to treat severe chronic infections.
Nature Reviews. Microbiology, 2012, Vol 10, Issue 12, p. 841-851