The fermentation product 2,3-butanediol alters P. aeruginosa clearance, cytokine response and the lung microbiome.
Diseases that favor colonization of the respiratory tract with Pseudomonas aeruginosa are characterized by an altered airway microbiome. Virulence of P. aeruginosa respiratory tract infection is likely influenced by interactions with other lung microbiota or their products. The bacterial fermentation product 2,3-butanediol enhances virulence and biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa in vitro. This study assessed the effects of 2,3-butanediol on P. aeruginosa persistence, inflammatory response, and the lung microbiome in vivo. Here, P. aeruginosa grown in the presence of 2,3-butanediol and encapsulated in agar beads persisted longer in the murine respiratory tract, induced enhanced TNF-α and IL-6 responses and resulted in increased colonization in the lung tissue by environmental microbes. These results led to the following hypothesis that now needs to be tested with a larger study: fermentation products from the lung microbiota not only have a role in P. aeruginosa virulence and abundance, but also on the increased colonization of the respiratory tract with environmental microbes, resulting in dynamic shifts in microbiota diversity and disease susceptibility.