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COPD: controlling pulmonary infections

Understanding the mechanisms of adaptation of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium in COPD patients (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

The University and the University Hospital of Bordeaux, accompanied by the Bordeaux University Foundation, are studying the mechanisms of adaptation of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium in the pulmonary environment of COPD patients. This bacterium is responsible for both acute and chronic lung infections. The Air Liquide Foundation is supporting this project aiming to identify new therapeutic opportunities.

The fight against chronic lung infections

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)* is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases and the third leading cause of death worldwide. Pulmonary infection with the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium participates in the exacerbations and progression of COPD and is a predictor of mortality.

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the world. It caused 3.23 million deaths in 2019.*

Preventing chronic lung infections

The objective of the researchers from the Bronchial Remodeling team of the Cardio-Thoracic Research Center of Bordeaux (CTRCB) - Micro-Mycobiote Axis - is to assess the role of pulmonary components in the adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa through the development of an original in vitro model.

The purpose of this study is to find potential therapeutic targets to fight against the development of chronic pulmonary infections in patients.

Studying the adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Few studies have characterised clinical strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from COPD patients. Therefore there is a considerable need to examine the host factors involved in the adaptation of this bacteria to the pulmonary environment of the COPD patient.

The CTRCB team firstly focuses on two little studied components of the respiratory tract, which interact with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and are strongly disturbed in COPD: the Myco-bacteriobiota (all fungi and bacteria) colonising the respiratory system and the bronchial epithelium. The project is carried out in three stages:

  • Determining the associations between the composition of Myco-bacteriobiota and the characteristics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from COPD patients
  • Characterising the host factors involved in the adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in an in vitro model
  • Identifying potential therapeutic levers to modulate the adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates in order to bypass antibiotic resistance

How the Air Liquide Foundation is participating

The Foundation is contributing to the salary of a post-doctoral fellow participating in the study.


“This project covers an undoubtedly important subject, in continuity of the work of an expert team in this field which has been benefiting from the Air Liquide Foundation’s support for several years.“

Jean-Christophe Richard, Medical Director, Air Liquide Medical Systems