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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1838;

Quorum Sensing as Antivirulence Target in Cystic Fibrosis Pathogens

Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Resistance: Mechanisms and New Strategies)
PDF [1595 KB, uploaded 13 April 2019]


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder which leads to the secretion of a viscous mucus layer on the respiratory epithelium that facilitates colonization by various bacterial pathogens. The problem of drug resistance has been reported for all the species able to colonize the lung of CF patients, so alternative treatments are urgently needed. In this context, a valid approach is to investigate new natural and synthetic molecules for their ability to counteract alternative pathways, such as virulence regulating quorum sensing (QS). In this review we describe the pathogens most commonly associated with CF lung infections: Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, species of the Burkholderia cepacia complex and the emerging pathogens Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Haemophilus influenzae and non-tuberculous Mycobacteria. For each bacterium, the QS system(s) and the molecules targeting the different components of this pathway are described. The amount of investigations published in the last five years clearly indicate the interest and the expectations on antivirulence therapy as an alternative to classical antibiotics.
Keywords: quorum sensing; cystic fibrosis; bacterial infections quorum sensing; cystic fibrosis; bacterial infections

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Scoffone, V.C.; Trespidi, G.; Chiarelli, L.R.; Barbieri, G.; Buroni, S. Quorum Sensing as Antivirulence Target in Cystic Fibrosis Pathogens. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1838.

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