Background: P. aeruginosa is one of the top three causes of opportunistic human bacterial infections. The remarkable variability in the clinical outcomes of this infection is thought to be associated with genetic predisposition. However, the genes underlying host susceptibility to P. aeruginosa infection are still largely unknown.
Results: As a step towards mapping these genes, we applied a genome wide linkage analysis approach to a mouse model. A large F2 intercross population, obtained by mating P. aeruginosa-resistant C3H/HeOuJ, and susceptible A/J mice, was used for quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. The F2 progenies were challenged with a P. aeruginosa clinical strain and monitored for the survival time up to 7 days post-infection, as a disease phenotype associated trait. Selected phenotypic extremes of the F2 distribution were genotyped with high-density single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers, and subsequently QTL analysis was performed. A significant locus was mapped on chromosome 6 and was named P . aeruginosa infection resistance locus 1 (Pairl1). The most promising candidate genes, including Dok1, Tacr1, Cd207, Clec4f, Gp9, Gata2, Foxp1, are related to pathogen sensing, neutrophils and macrophages recruitment and inflammatory processes.
Conclusions: We propose a set of genes involved in the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infection that may be explored to complement human studies.
Keywords: Candidate genes; Host susceptibility; Linkage analysis; Murine model; P. aeruginosa; Pneumonia; QTL mapping.