Chronic wounds infected by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) are characterized by disease progression and increased mortality. We reveal Pf, a bacteriophage produced by Pa that delays healing of chronically infected wounds in human subjects and animal models of disease. Interestingly, impairment of wound closure by Pf is independent of its effects on Pa pathogenesis. Rather, Pf impedes keratinocyte migration, which is essential for wound healing, through direct inhibition of CXCL1 signaling. In support of these findings, a prospective cohort study of 36 human patients with chronic Pa wound infections reveals that wounds infected with Pf-positive strains of Pa are more likely to progress in size compared with wounds infected with Pf-negative strains. Together, these data implicate Pf phage in the delayed wound healing associated with Pa infection through direct manipulation of mammalian cells. These findings suggest Pf may have potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target in chronic wounds.
- filamentous phage