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  • Publication
    Hypoxia, innate immunity and infection in the lung
    The mucosal surface of the lung is the key interface between the external atmosphere and the bloodstream. Normally, this well oxygenated tissue is maintained in state of sterility by a number of innate immune processes. These include a physical and dynamic mucus barrier, the production of microbiocidal peptides and the expression of specific pattern recognition receptors on alveolar epithelial cells and resident macrophages and dendritic cells which recognise microbial structures and initiate innate immune responses which promote the clearance of potentially infectious agents. In a range of diseases, the mucosal surface of the lung experiences decreased oxygen tension leading to localised areas of prominent hypoxia which can impact upon innate immune and subsequent infectious and inflammatory processes. Under these conditions, the lung is generally more susceptible to infection and subsequent inflammation. In the current review, we will discuss recent data pertaining to the role of hypoxia in regulating both host and pathogen in the lung during pulmonary disease and how this contributes to innate immunity, infection and inflammation.
      1031Scopus© Citations 53
  • Publication
    Increased Virulence of Bloodstream Over Peripheral Isolates of P. aeruginosa Identified Through Post-transcriptional Regulation of Virulence Factors
    The factors influencing the virulence of P. aeruginosa in the development of invasive infection remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of the host microenvironment in shaping pathogen virulence and investigated the mechanisms involved. Comparing seven paired genetically indistinguishable clinical bloodstream and peripheral isolates of P. aeruginosa, we demonstrate that isolates derived from bloodstream infections are more virulent than their peripheral counterparts (p = 0.025). Bloodstream and peripheral isolates elicited similar NF-kB responses in a THP-1 monocyte NF-kappaB reporter cell line implicating similar immunogenicity. Proteomic analysis by mass spectrometry identified multiple virulence and virulence-related factors including LecA and RpoN in significantly greater abundance in the bacterial supernatant from the bloodstream isolate in comparison to that from the corresponding peripheral isolate. Investigation by qPCR revealed that control of expression of these virulence factors was not due to altered levels of transcription. Based on these data, we hypothesize a post-transcriptional mechanism of virulence regulation in P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections influenced by surrounding microenvironmental conditions.
      205Scopus© Citations 12