Emerging strategies to target virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory infections

Tegan M. Hibbert, Marvin Whiteley, Stephen A. Renshaw, Daniel R. Neill, Joanne L. Fothergill (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is responsible for infections in people living with chronic respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and non-CF bronchiectasis (NCFB). Traditionally, in people with chronic respiratory disorders, P. aeruginosa infection has been managed with a combination of inhaled and intravenous antibiotic therapies. However, due in part to the prolonged use of antibiotics in these people, the emergence of multi-drug resistant P. aeruginosa strains is a growing concern. The development of anti-virulence therapeutics may provide a new means of treating P. aeruginosa lung infections whilst also combatting the AMR crisis, as these agents are presumed to exert reduced pressure for the emergence of drug resistance as compared to antibiotics. However, the pipeline for developing anti-virulence therapeutics is poorly defined, and it is currently unclear as to whether in vivo and in vitro models effectively replicate the complex pulmonary environment sufficiently to enable development and testing of such therapies for future clinical use. Here, we discuss potential targets for P. aeruginosa anti-virulence therapeutics and the effectiveness of the current models used to study them. Focus is given to the difficulty of replicating the virulence gene expression patterns of P. aeruginosa in the CF and NCFB lung under laboratory conditions and to the challenges this poses for anti-virulence therapeutic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalCritical reviews in microbiology
Early online date24 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2023


  • Anti-virulence therapeutics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • cystic fibrosis
  • non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


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