The vasculitis in man caused by some strains of P. aeruginosa is characterized by bacillary infiltration of arterial walls and disintegration of the external elastic laminae and hemorrhage, but little or no intramural inflammatory response. Patients having a predilection for these lesions are those with severe thermal injuries and leukemia. A purified elastase from P. aeruginosa was highly destructive for fluid phase and cell bound C1 and C3 and fluid phase C5, C8, and C9. Inactivation of C4, C2, C6 and C7 by the enzyme varied from 0 to 67%. Low concentrations of elastase generated, then inactivated, a chemotactic factor from human C5 but not from C3. Higher enzyme concentrations inactivated the C5 chemotactic activity at a faster rate. Elastase treatment of sensitized pseudomonads containing cell bound C3 reduced the phagocytic indexes of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The data support the proposed chemopathogenic role of the elastase in generation of the characteristic non inflammatory Pseudomonas vasculitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases