In severe burn injury the unique setting of a depleted, dysfunctional immune system along with a loss of barrier function commonly results in opportunistic infections that eventually proof fatal. Unfortunately, the dynamic sequence of bacterial contamination, colonization and eventually septic invasion with bacteria such as Pseudomonas species is still poorly understood although a limiting factor in clinical decision making. Increasing evidence supports the notion that inhibition of bacterial translocation into the wound site may be an effective alternative to prevent infection. In this context we investigated the role of the mammalian Chitinase-3-Like-1 (CHI3L1) non-enyzmatic protein predominately expressed on epithelial as well as innate immune cells as a potential bacterial-translocation-mediating factor. We show a strong trend that a modulation of chitinase expression is likely to be effective in reducing mortality rates in a mouse model of burn injury with superinfection with the opportunistic PA14 Pseudomonas strain, thus demonstrating possible clinical leverage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas