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pseudomonas aeruginosa

Has besides killing the Pa by antibiotics, also the mucus layer to be broken down?

Dear questioner,

Thanks for your question.

Before answering your question, I will give you first some information about the occurrence of the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis.
In healthy people, there is a layer of mucus on top of the cell layer bordering our airways. This mucus layer is like a moving carpet and removes the inhaled bacteria and dust particles by the movement of the cilia. The mucus layer is composed of salts, proteins mucins and water.
In CF patients there is an inherited defect that makes the mucus layer abnormally thick and tough. The lungs have more difficulties to clean themselves. In addition the tough mucus provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Typical bacteria which are found in the respiratory tract in patients with CF are Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Especially the latter is hiding and encapsulating in the mucus layer. It creates a chronic infection and also inflammatory cells are attracted. The DNA that is released from dead cells (bacteria, respiratory and inflammatory cells) interferes with the mucus making it even tougher.
The symptoms that occur with chronic pulmonary infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus are coughing and coughing up phlegm (sputum) in different quantities. In the sputum there is mucus, bacteria and inflammatory cells, there are no parts of tissue. However, in severe infection there may occur a mixture of blood and sputum.

Dr. Annemie Dieltjens