The antimicrobial effectiveness and cytokine response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophages in a human lung tissue culture model

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Biology


Department of Biology


Advisor: Jayne B. Robinson


Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to human health. Because of the rise of antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial infections in cystic fibrosis and other immunocompromised patients, many individuals are left with untreatable and potentially lethal lung infections. Novel methods of treating infections, such as the use of bacteriophages, may provide new means to attenuate these dangerous and oftentimes antibiotic resistant bacteria. The goal of this project was to determine the degree of innate resistance of lung cells to two P. aeruginosa bacteriophages in an in vitro model. The model system used in this project was a human lung tissue co-culture comprised of A549 type II alveolar cells and U937-derived macrophages. In both monoculture and co-culture, it was discovered that after 24 hours, bacteriophage PEV2 induced significant production of IL-8. DMS3 did not yield innate resistance from our panel of four cytokines: IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-alpha. Simulated lung infections were carried out with two strains of P. aeruginosa, PAO1 and PAO1-NP, in which the selected bacteriophages demonstrated their ability to protect the A549 monoculture 12 and 24 hours after bacterial exposure.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Lungs Infections, Bacteriophages, Biology, Microbiology, Immunology, A549, U937, pseudomonas aeruginosa, tissue culture, cytokine response, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-alpha, PAO1, cystic fibrosis, alveolar, co-culture, phage therapy, bacteriophage, innate resistance

Rights Statement

Copyright 2016, author