Background: The gram-negative bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes a wide range of infections, mostly in hospitalized and immunocompromised patients, those with burns, surgical wounds, or combat-related wounds, and in people with cystic fibrosis. The increasing antibiotic resistance of P. aeruginosa confers a pressing need for vaccines, yet there are no P. aeruginosa vaccines approved for human use, and recent promising candidates have failed in large clinical trials. Discussion: In this review, we summarize recent clinical trials and pre-clinical studies of P. aeruginosa vaccines and provide a suggested framework for the makeup of a future successful vaccine. Murine models of infection suggest that antibodies, specifically opsonophagocytic killing antibodies (OPK), antitoxin antibodies, and anti-attachment antibodies, combined with T cell immunity, specifically TH17 responses, are needed for broad and potent protection against P. aeruginosa infection. A better understanding of the human immune response to P. aeruginosa infections, and to vaccine candidates, will eventually pave the way to a successful vaccine for this wily pathogen.
Keywords: T17; active immunity; adaptive immunity; passive immunity; vaccine.