, Volume 173, Issue 5–6, pp 451–461 | Cite as

Pseudomonas aeruginosa Inhibits the Growth of Cryptococcus Species

  • Antonella Rella
  • Mo Wei Yang
  • Jordon Gruber
  • Maria Teresa Montagna
  • Chiara Luberto
  • Yong-Mei ZhangEmail author
  • Maurizio Del PoetaEmail author


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous and opportunistic bacterium that inhibits the growth of different microorganisms, including Gram-positive bacteria and fungi such as Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus. In this study, we investigated the interaction between P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus spp. We found that P. aeruginosa PA14 and, to a lesser extent, PAO1 significantly inhibited the growth of Cryptococcus spp. The inhibition of growth was observed on solid medium by the visualization of a zone of inhibition of yeast growth and in liquid culture by viable cell counting. Interestingly, such inhibition was only observed when P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus were co-cultured. Minimal inhibition was observed when cell–cell contact was prevented using a separation membrane, suggesting that cell contact is required for inhibition. Using mutant strains of Pseudomonas quinoline signaling, we showed that P. aeruginosa inhibited the growth of Cryptococcus spp. by producing antifungal molecules pyocyanin, a redox-active phenazine, and 2-heptyl-3,4-dihydroxyquinoline (PQS), an extracellular quorum-sensing signal. Because both P. aeruginosa and Cryptococcus neoformans are commonly found in lung infections of immunocompromised patients, this study may have important implication for the interaction of these microbes in both an ecological and a clinical point of view.


Cryptococcus spp. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum sensing 2-heptyl-3,4-dihydroxyquinoline Pyocyanin 



We thank all members of Del Poeta, Zhang and Luberto laboratories for discussion. This work was supported in part by Grants AI56168, AI71142, AI78493 and AI87541 (to M.D.P) from the National Institute of Health, in part by RR17677 (to M. D. P. and Y-M. Z) from the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence Program of the National Center for Research Resources, and in part by NIH C06 RR015455 from the Extramural Research Facilities Program of the National Center for Research Resources. Dr. Maurizio Del Poeta is a Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Rella
    • 1
    • 5
  • Mo Wei Yang
    • 1
  • Jordon Gruber
    • 1
  • Maria Teresa Montagna
    • 5
  • Chiara Luberto
    • 1
  • Yong-Mei Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maurizio Del Poeta
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Craniofacial BiologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Infectious DiseasesMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biomedical Science and Human OncologyHygiene Section, University of BariBariItaly

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