Immunohistologic quantification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the tracheobronchial tree from patients with cystic fibrosis.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been recognized as a pathogen of major importance in the patient with cystic fibrosis (CF). However, no information is available regarding the histologic quantification of P. aeruginosa organisms in the CF tracheobronchial tree. We retrieved all formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded lung blocks from 20 consecutive autopsies of cystic fibrosis patients. Serial histologic sections were made and stained by three methods: hematoxylin and eosin, immunoperoxidase with anti-P. aeruginosa rabbit serum as the primary antibody, and immunoperoxidase with normal rabbit serum as the primary antibody. By studying the hematoxylin and eosin section, we classified five areas in the lung as bronchi, large bronchioles, small bronchioles, bronchioloectatic areas, and abscess/airways with destroyed epithelium. The areas stained by an anti-P. aeruginosa immunoperoxidase method were examined under high-power magnification, and the bacteria within random fields were counted. Pseudomonas aeruginosa organisms were identified in 14 of 20 cases, including 13 of 16 cases in which P. aeruginosa was specifically cultured at autopsy. Quantification of organisms within the lumens of all five airway types showed that the bacterial density in cystic fibrosis airways is highest in bronchi.
Potts, SB; Roggli, VL; Spock, A
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