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UZ Gent, medische microbiologie

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Traineeship proposition
Samenvatting eindwerk 2014-2015: The Ex Vivo Sputum Model: evaluation of the eradication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by testing antibacterial agents
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a severe autosomal recessive disease most common in Causasian populations. CF affects multiple organs and leads to a fatal prognosis due to a dysfunction of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR) protein. Some mutations that affect the CFTR gene cause deregulation of ion transport and poor hydration of the airway surface liquid producing a viscous mucus layer on the airway surface of CF patients. This layer can easily be colonized by bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa due to a poor mucociliary clearance. The bacteria that colonize the lung of CF patients can acquire multidrug resistance due to genetic modifications and biofilm formation. In this experiment bacteriolysin, EDTA, pulmozyme and tobramycin were tested on the Ex Vivo Sputum Model to evaluate the effect of these agents on the biofilm destruction and eradication of P. aeruginosa. Culture of treated sputum, RT-qPCR and FISH were used to analyse the effect of these agents. A combination of EDTA and tobramycin was found to be most effective for the eradication of P. aerugniosa in the sputum of CF-patients. Sputum of several patients treated with bacteriolysin and pulmozyme had an increase in detected bacterial cells compared with the control sample (untreated sputum). Possibly these agents affect the biofilm structure and increase the metabolic activity of the more dormant bacteria deep within the biofilm. By adding bacteriolysin and pulmozyme to trigger the dormant bacteria to become more active, antibiotic treatments could be more effective. This is a hypothesis that needs to be further evaluated.


De Pintelaan 185
blok A
blok A
9000 Gent


Traineeship supervisor
Mario Vaneeckhoute
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