Affiliation: CEH Oxford, Mansfield Rd, Oxford, OX1 3SR, United Kingdom.
The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes fatal lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients, regulates the expression of virulence factors by N-acyl-Lhomoserine lactone (AHL) mediated gene expression. AHL mediated gene expression, also known as quorum sensing, involves the production of and response to a small diffusible metabolite. This gene expression mechanism allows populations of P. aeruginosa to coordinate expression of virulence factors to maximise the success of infection. AHL mediated gene expression offers a new target for the control of bacterial infection that is not dependent on the use of compounds with antibiotic activity. This review summarises investigations that have demonstrated the efficacy of marine natural products in inhibiting AHL mediated gene expression and controlling P. aeruginosa infection.