Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms: Host response and clinical implications in lung infections

Nicholas M. Maurice, Brahmchetna Bedi, Ruxana T. Sadikot

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major health challenge that causes recalcitrant multidrug-resistant infections, especially in immunocompromised and hospitalized patients. P. aeruginosa is an important cause of nosocomial and ventilator-associated pneumonia characterized by high prevalence and fatality rates. P. aeruginosa also causes chronic lung infections in individuals with cystic fibrosis. Multidrug- and totally drug-resistant strains of P. aeruginosa are increasing threats that contribute to high mortality in these patients. The pathogenesis of many P. aeruginosa infections depends on its ability to form biofilms, structured bacterial communities that can coat mucosal surfaces or invasive devices. These biofilms make conditions more favorable for bacterial persistence, as embedded bacteria are inherently more difficult to eradicate than planktonic bacteria. The molecular mechanisms that underlie P. aeruginosa biofilm pathogenesis and the host response to P. aeruginosa biofilms remain to be fully defined. However, it is known that biofilms offer protection from the host immune response and are also extremely recalcitrant to antimicrobial therapy. Therefore, development of novel therapeutic strategies specifically aimed at biofilms is urgently needed. Here, we review the host response, key clinical implications of P. aeruginosa biofilms, and novel therapeutic approaches to treat biofilms relevant to lung infections. Greater understanding of P. aeruginosa biofilms will elucidate novel avenues to improve outcomes for P. aeruginosa pulmonary infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-439
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-infective agents
  • Biofilms
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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