Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 causes hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) by colonizing the gut mucosa and producing Shiga toxins (Stx). The only factor clearly demonstrated to play a role in EHEC adherence to intestinal epithelial cells is intimin, which binds host cell integrins and nucleolin, as well as a receptor (Tir) that it injects into the host cell. Here we report that EHEC O157:H7 produces adhesive type IV pili, which we term hemorrhagic coli pilus (HCP), composed of a 19-kDa pilin subunit (HcpA) that is encoded by the hcpA chromosomal gene. HCP were observed as bundles of fibers greater than 10 μm in length that formed physical bridges between bacteria adhering to human and bovine host cells. Sera of HUS patients, but not healthy individuals, recognized HcpA, suggesting that the pili are produced in vivo during EHEC infections. Inactivation of the hcpA gene in EHEC EDL933 resulted in significantly reduced adherence to cultured human intestinal and bovine renal epithelial cells and to porcine and bovine gut explants. An escN mutant, which is unable to translocate Tir, adhered less than the hcpA mutant, suggesting that adherence mediated by intimin-Tir interactions is a prelude to HCP-mediated adherence. An hcpA and stx1,2 triple mutant and an hcpA mutant had similar levels of adherence to bovine and human epithelial cells while a stx1,2 double mutant had only a minor defect in adherence, indicating that HCP-mediated adherence and cytotoxicity are independent events. Our data establish that EHEC O157:H7 HCP are intestinal colonization factors that are likely to contribute to the pathogenic potential of this food-borne pathogen.
Juan Xicohtencatl-Cortes, Valério Monteiro-Neto, Maria A. Ledesma, Dianna M. Jordan, Olivera Francetic, James B. Kaper, José Luis Puente, Jorge A. Girón
The flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging pathogen that causes life-threatening encephalitis in susceptible individuals. We investigated the role of the proinflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), which is an upstream mediator of innate immunity, in WNV immunopathogenesis. We found that patients suffering from acute WNV infection presented with increased MIF levels in plasma and in cerebrospinal fluid. MIF expression also was induced in WNV-infected mice. Remarkably, abrogation of MIF action by 3 distinct approaches (antibody blockade, small molecule pharmacologic inhibition, and genetic deletion) rendered mice more resistant to WNV lethality. Mif–/– mice showed a reduced viral load and inflammatory response in the brain when compared with wild-type mice. Our results also indicate that MIF favors viral neuroinvasion by compromising the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. In conclusion, the data obtained from this study provide direct evidence for the involvement of MIF in viral pathogenesis and suggest that pharmacotherapeutic approaches targeting MIF may hold promise for the treatment of WNV encephalitis.
Alvaro Arjona, Harald G. Foellmer, Terrence Town, Lin Leng, Courtney McDonald, Tian Wang, Susan J. Wong, Ruth R. Montgomery, Erol Fikrig, Richard Bucala
Cell surface mucin glycoproteins are highly expressed by all mucosal tissues, yet their physiological role is currently unknown. We hypothesized that cell surface mucins protect mucosal cells from infection. A rapid progressive increase in gastrointestinal expression of mucin 1 (Muc1) cell surface mucin followed infection of mice with the bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. In the first week following oral infection, C. jejuni was detected in the systemic organs of the vast majority of Muc1–/– mice but never in Muc1+/+ mice. Although C. jejuni entered gastrointestinal epithelial cells of both Muc1–/– and Muc1+/+ mice, small intestinal damage as manifested by increased apoptosis and enucleated and shed villous epithelium was more common in Muc1–/– mice. Using radiation chimeras, we determined that prevention of systemic infection in wild-type mice was due exclusively to epithelial Muc1 rather than Muc1 on hematopoietic cells. Expression of MUC1-enhanced resistance to C. jejuni cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) in vitro and CDT null C. jejuni showed lower gastric colonization in Muc1–/– mice in vivo. We believe this is the first in vivo experimental study to demonstrate that cell surface mucins are a critical component of mucosal defence and that the study provides the foundation for exploration of their contribution to epithelial infectious and inflammatory diseases.
Julie L. McAuley, Sara K. Linden, Chin Wen Png, Rebecca M. King, Helen L. Pennington, Sandra J. Gendler, Timothy H. Florin, Geoff R. Hill, Victoria Korolik, Michael A. McGuckin
Apart from potential roles in anti-tumor surveillance, the TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has important regulatory functions in the host immune response. We studied antiinflammatory effects of endogenous and recombinant TRAIL (rTRAIL) in experimental meningitis. Following intrathecal application of pneumococcal cell wall, a TLR2 ligand, we found prolonged inflammation, augmented clinical impairment, and increased apoptosis in the hippocampus of TRAIL–/– mice. Administration of rTRAIL into the subarachnoid space of TRAIL–/– mice or reconstitution of hematopoiesis with wild-type bone marrow cells reversed these effects, suggesting an autoregulatory role of TRAIL within the infiltrating leukocyte population. Importantly, intrathecal application of rTRAIL in wild-type mice with meningitis also decreased inflammation and apoptosis. Moreover, patients suffering from bacterial meningitis showed increased intrathecal synthesis of TRAIL. Our findings provide what we believe is the first evidence that TRAIL may act as a negative regulator of acute CNS inflammation. The ability of TRAIL to modify inflammatory responses and to reduce neuronal cell death in meningitis suggests that it may be used as a novel antiinflammatory agent in invasive infections.
Olaf Hoffmann, Josef Priller, Timour Prozorovski, Ulf Schulze-Topphoff, Nevena Baeva, Jan D. Lunemann, Orhan Aktas, Cordula Mahrhofer, Sarah Stricker, Frauke Zipp, Joerg R. Weber
Neutrophils contain antimicrobial peptides with antituberculous activity, but their contribution to immune resistance to tuberculosis (TB) infection has not been previously investigated to our knowledge. We determined differential white cell counts in peripheral blood of 189 adults who had come into contact with patients diagnosed with active TB in London, United Kingdom, and evaluated them for evidence of TB infection and capacity to restrict mycobacterial growth in whole-blood assays. Risk of TB infection was inversely and independently associated with peripheral blood neutrophil count in contacts of patients diagnosed with pulmonary TB. The ability of whole blood to restrict growth of Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette Guérin and Mycobacterium tuberculosis was impaired 7.3- and 3.1-fold, respectively, by neutrophil depletion. In microbiological media, human neutrophil peptides (HNPs) 1–3 killed M. tuberculosis. The neutrophil peptides cathelicidin LL-37 and lipocalin 2 restricted growth of the organism, the latter in an iron-dependent manner. Black African participants had lower neutrophil counts and lower circulating concentrations of HNP1–3 and lipocalin 2 than south Asian and white participants. Neutrophils contribute substantially to innate resistance to TB infection, an activity associated with their antimicrobial peptides. Elucidation of the regulation of neutrophil antimicrobial peptides could facilitate prevention and treatment of TB.
Adrian R. Martineau, Sandra M. Newton, Katalin A. Wilkinson, Beate Kampmann, Bridget M. Hall, Niga Nawroly, Geoffrey E. Packe, Robert N. Davidson, Christopher J. Griffiths, Robert J. Wilkinson
The ileal mucosa of Crohn disease (CD) patients is abnormally colonized by adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC) that are able to adhere to and invade intestinal epithelial cells. Here, we show that CD-associated AIEC strains adhere to the brush border of primary ileal enterocytes isolated from CD patients but not controls without inflammatory bowel disease. AIEC adhesion is dependent on type 1 pili expression on the bacterial surface and on carcinoembryonic antigen–related cell adhesion molecule 6 (CEACAM6) expression on the apical surface of ileal epithelial cells. We report also that CEACAM6 acts as a receptor for AIEC adhesion and is abnormally expressed by ileal epithelial cells in CD patients. In addition, our in vitro studies show that there is increased CEACAM6 expression in cultured intestinal epithelial cells after IFN-γ or TNF-α stimulation and after infection with AIEC bacteria, indicating that AIEC can promote its own colonization in CD patients.
Nicolas Barnich, Frédéric A. Carvalho, Anne-Lise Glasser, Claude Darcha, Peter Jantscheff, Matthieu Allez, Harald Peeters, Gilles Bommelaer, Pierre Desreumaux, Jean-Frédéric Colombel, Arlette Darfeuille-Michaud
A novel antiinfective approach is to exploit stresses already imposed on invading organisms by the in vivo environment. Fe metabolism is a key vulnerability of infecting bacteria because organisms require Fe for growth, and it is critical in the pathogenesis of infections. Furthermore, humans have evolved potent Fe-withholding mechanisms that can block acute infection, prevent biofilm formation leading to chronic infection, and starve bacteria that succeed in infecting the host. Here we investigate a “Trojan horse” strategy that uses the transition metal gallium to disrupt bacterial Fe metabolism and exploit the Fe stress of in vivo environments. Due to its chemical similarity to Fe, Ga can substitute for Fe in many biologic systems and inhibit Fe-dependent processes. We found that Ga inhibits Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth and biofilm formation and kills planktonic and biofilm bacteria in vitro. Ga works in part by decreasing bacterial Fe uptake and by interfering with Fe signaling by the transcriptional regulator pvdS. We also show that Ga is effective in 2 murine lung infection models. These data, along with the fact that Ga is FDA approved (for i.v. administration) and there is the dearth of new antibiotics in development, make Ga a potentially promising new therapeutic for P. aeruginosa infections.
Yukihiro Kaneko, Matthew Thoendel, Oyebode Olakanmi, Bradley E. Britigan, Pradeep K. Singh
In this study we investigated why bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense cross human brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs), a human blood-brain barrier (BBB) model system, at much greater efficiency than do T. b. brucei. After noting that T. b. gambiense displayed higher levels of cathepsin L–like cysteine proteases, we investigated whether these enzymes contribute to parasite crossing. First, we found that T. b. gambiense crossing of human BMECs was abrogated by N-methylpiperazine-urea-Phe-homopheylalanine-vinylsulfone-benzene (K11777), an irreversible inhibitor of cathepsin L–like cysteine proteases. Affinity labeling and immunochemical studies characterized brucipain as the K11777-sensitive cysteine protease expressed at higher levels by T. b. gambiense. K11777-treated T. b. gambiense failed to elicit calcium fluxes in BMECs, suggesting that generation of activation signals for the BBB is critically dependant on brucipain activity. Strikingly, crossing of T. b. brucei across the BBB was enhanced upon incubation with brucipain-rich supernatants derived from T. b. gambiense. The effects of the conditioned medium, which correlated with ability to evoke calcium fluxes, were canceled by K11777, but not by the cathepsin B inhibitor CA074. Collectively, these in vitro studies implicate brucipain as a critical driver of T. b. gambiense transendothelial migration of the human BBB.
Olga V. Nikolskaia, Ana Paula C. de A. Lima, Yuri V. Kim, John D. Lonsdale-Eccles, Toshihide Fukuma, Julio Scharfstein, Dennis J. Grab
Many intracellular pathogens, including Toxoplasma gondii, survive within macrophages by residing in vacuoles that avoid fusion with lysosomes. It is important to determine whether cell-mediated immunity can trigger macrophage antimicrobial activity by rerouting these vacuoles to lysosomes. We report that CD40 stimulation of human and mouse macrophages infected with T. gondii resulted in fusion of parasitophorous vacuoles and late endosomes/lysosomes. Vacuole/lysosome fusion took place even when CD40 was ligated after the formation of parasitophorous vacuoles. Genetic and pharmacological approaches that impaired phosphoinositide-3-class 3 (PIK3C3), Rab7, vacuolar ATPase, and lysosomal enzymes revealed that vacuole/lysosome fusion mediated antimicrobial activity induced by CD40. Ligation of CD40 caused colocalization of parasitophorous vacuoles and LC3, a marker of autophagy, which is a process that controls lysosomal degradation. Vacuole/lysosome fusion and antimicrobial activity were shown to be dependent on autophagy. Thus, cell-mediated immunity through CD40 stimulation can reroute an intracellular pathogen to the lysosomal compartment, resulting in macrophage antimicrobial activity.
Rosa M. Andrade, Matthew Wessendarp, Marc-Jan Gubbels, Boris Striepen, Carlos S. Subauste
Whooping cough is considered a childhood disease, although there is growing evidence that children are infected by adult carriers. Additionally, increasing numbers of vaccinated adults are being diagnosed with Bordetella pertussis disease. Thus it is critical to understand how B. pertussis remains endemic even in highly vaccinated or immune populations. Here we used the mouse model to examine the nature of sterilizing immunity to B. pertussis. Antibodies were necessary to control infection but did not rapidly clear B. pertussis from the lungs. However, antibodies affected B. pertussis after a delay of at least a week by a mechanism that involved neutrophils and Fc receptors, suggesting that neutrophils phagocytose and clear antibody-opsonized bacteria via Fc receptors. B. pertussis blocked migration of neutrophils and inhibited their recruitment to the lungs during the first week of infection by a pertussis toxin–dependent (PTx-dependent) mechanism; a PTx mutant of B. pertussis induced rapid neutrophil recruitment and was rapidly cleared from the lungs by adoptively transferred antibodies. Depletion of neutrophils abrogated the defects of the PTx mutant. Together these results indicate that PTx inhibits neutrophil recruitment, which consequently allows B. pertussis to avoid rapid antibody-mediated clearance and therefore successfully infect immune hosts.
Girish S. Kirimanjeswara, Luis M. Agosto, Mary J. Kennett, Ottar N. Bjornstad, Eric T. Harvill
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