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Increased airway glucose increases airway bacterial load in hyperglycaemia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Garnett



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Diabetes is associated with increased frequency of hospitalization due to bacterial lung infection. We hypothesize that increased airway glucose caused by hyperglycaemia leads to increased bacterial loads. In critical care patients, we observed that respiratory tract bacterial colonisation is significantly more likely when blood glucose is high. We engineered mutants in genes affecting glucose uptake and metabolism (oprB, gltK, gtrS and glk) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, strain PAO1. These mutants displayed attenuated growth in minimal medium supplemented with glucose as the sole carbon source. The effect of glucose on growth in vivo was tested using streptozocin-induced, hyperglycaemic mice, which have significantly greater airway glucose. Bacterial burden in hyperglycaemic animals was greater than control animals when infected with wild type but not mutant PAO1. Metformin pre-treatment of hyperglycaemic animals reduced both airway glucose and bacterial load. These data support airway glucose as a critical determinant of increased bacterial load during diabetes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gill SK, Hui K, Farne H, Garnett JP, Baines DL, Moore LS, Holmes AH, Filloux A, Tregoning JS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2016

Volume: 6

Online publication date: 08/06/2016

Acceptance date: 19/05/2016

Date deposited: 27/07/2016

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/srep27636

PubMed id: 27273266


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