Investigation of the mechanism and chemistry underlying Staphylococcus aureus' ability to inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth in vitro

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits or eradicates Staphylococcus aureus in most in vitro settings. Nonetheless, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus are commonly isolated from chronically infected, nonhealing wounds and lungs of people with cystic fibrosis (CF). Therefore, we hypothesized that S. aureus could protect itself from P. aeruginosa through glucose-derived metabolites, such as small organic acids, preventing it from being eradicated. This in vitro study demonstrated that S. aureus populations, in the presence of glucose, secrete one or more substances that efficiently eradicate P. aeruginosa in a concentration-dependent manner. These substances had a molecular mass lower than three kDa, were hydrophilic, heat- and proteinase-resistant, and demonstrated a pH-dependent effect. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis identified acetoin, acetic acid, and oligopeptides or cyclic peptides in glucose-grown S. aureus supernatants. All the tested wild-type and clinical S. aureus strain inhibited P. aeruginosa growth. Thus, we proposed a model in which a cocktail of these compounds, produced by established S. aureus populations in glucose presence, facilitated these two species' coexistence in chronic infections.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number11
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ID: 320134131