Influencing Factors on the Production of Exopolysaccharides by Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen infecting patients with compromised immune systems, cystic fibrosis, or serious burns. These bacteria produce many virulence factors affecting these patients, but the one most responsible for morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis patients is a sticky, slimy substance called alginate. This component along with other exopolysaccharides is produced when the bacteria are grown in a liquid environment. It can be measured using a simple flow through method previously developed by the author. Using this method, experiments were performed providing the bacteria with a single carbon source to determine if certain carbon sources allow the bacteria to increase or decrease production of this virulence factor. Additional inorganic substances and mechanical manipulations were also tested to detect their effect on slime production. The bacteria grew well in media containing a single sugar carbon source, but failed to produce the alginate component when no amino acid or other nitrogen source was available. These results might be used to develop a hypothesis concerning bacterial signaling components and/or the chemical materials absolutely necessary for alginate production.