Bacterial growth in pleural fluid
Current studies at the Institute for Respiratory Health has looked at the effect of bacterial infection on the resident mesothelial cells and pleural fluid, in an effort to better understand the infective process which may lead to therapeutic optimization.
We have shown for the first time that pleural fluid provides a rich medium for S. pneumoniae proliferation.
This proliferation is independent of the cellular content of the pleural fluid and high density concentrations are maintained in pleural fluid samples for 48 hours.
Once S. pneumoniae enters the pleural space it proliferates rapidly to high densities with the pleural fluid providing an ongoing medium to sustain growth which is better for the bacteria than broth with serum ( optimal laboratory media for growth). Furthermore autolysis which is observed with S. pneumoniae at 8-12 hours following inoculation in broth was inhibited in pleural fluid for 48 hours.
A numbers of cell surface proteins that function as adhesins, autolysis enzymes and nutrient transporters in S.pneumoniae have been identified as essential for virulence and growth of the bacterium. No data exist on the determinants for bacteria growth within the pleural cavity. Mutant strains of S. pneumoniae that have previously identified as essential for the virulence and growth of S. pneumoniae will be used to establish the mechanistic role of the surface proteins in aiding growth.
To get involved or for more information, contact the Research Leader.
Dr Sally Lansley
Senior Research Fellow