We present the real-time monitoring of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) production from Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) strains in vitro, using laser-based photoacoustic spectroscopy. Simultaneously, the production of ammonia (NH3) was measured, and the influence of different factors (e.g. the medium, temperature and antibiotics treatment) was assessed. Both reference strains and clinical isolates of patients with CF were studied, and compared to other pathogens commonly present in lungs/airways of CF patients. Hydrogen cyanide production starts to rise as soon as P.aeruginosa bacteria reach the stationary phase ((9.0-9.5)× 109 colony forming units, CFUs), up to concentrations of 14.5 microliters per hour (μl h-1). Different strains of P. aeruginosa produced HCN to varying degrees, and addition of tobramycin strongly reduced HCN production within 2 h from application. Burkholderia cepacia also produced HCN (up to 0.35μl h-1 in 9.0 × 109 CFU) while other pathogens (Aspergillus fumigatus, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Mycobacterium abscessus) did not produce detectable levels. Our study reveals for the first time a broad overview of the dynamics of the HCN production in vitro.

ammonia, laser-based photoacoustic spectroscopy, cystic fibrosis, hydrogen cyanide, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
dx.doi.org/10.1088/1752-7155/9/2/027102, hdl.handle.net/1765/81240
Journal of Breath Research
Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Neerincx, A.H, Mandon, J, van Ingen, J, Arslanov, D.D, Mouton, J.W, Harren, F.J.M, … Cristescu, S.M. (2015). Real-time monitoring of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and ammonia (NH3) emitted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Journal of Breath Research, 9(2). doi:10.1088/1752-7155/9/2/027102