Intermicrobial interaction: Aspergillus fumigatus siderophores protect against competition by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Abstract : Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus fumigatus are pathogens frequently co-inhabiting immunocompromised patient airways, particularly in people with cystic fibrosis. Both microbes depend on the availability of iron, and compete for iron in their microenvironment. We showed previously that the P. aeruginosa siderophore pyoverdine is the main instrument in battling A. fumigatus biofilms, by iron chelation and denial of iron to the fungus. Here we show that A. fumigatus siderophores defend against anti-fungal P. aeruginosa effects. P. aeruginosa supernatants produced in the presence of wildtype A. fumigatus planktonic supernatants (Afsup) showed less activity against A. fumigatus biofilms than P. aeruginosa supernatants without Afsup, despite higher production of pyoverdine by P. aeruginosa. Supernatants of A. fumigatus cultures lacking the sidA gene (AfΔsidA), unable to produce hydroxamate siderophores, were less capable of protecting A. fumigatus biofilms from P. aeruginosa supernatants and pyoverdine. AfΔsidA biofilm was more sensitive towards inhibitory effects of pyoverdine, the iron chelator deferiprone (DFP), or amphothericin B than wildtype A. fumigatus biofilm. Supplementation of sidA-deficient A. fumigatus biofilm with A. fumigatus siderophores restored resistance to pyoverdine. The A. fumigatus siderophore production inhibitor celastrol sensitized wildtype A. fumigatus biofilms towards the anti-fungal activity of DFP. In conclusion, A. fumigatus hydroxamate siderophores play a pivotal role in A. fumigatus competition for iron against P. aeruginosa.
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Gabriele Sass, Shajia Ansari, Anna-Maria Dietl, Eric Déziel, Hubertus Haas, et al.. Intermicrobial interaction: Aspergillus fumigatus siderophores protect against competition by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2019, 14 (5), pp.e0216085. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0216085⟩. ⟨pasteur-02275460⟩

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