Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi is a human-restricted intracellular pathogen and the cause of typhoid fever. Cellular immune responses are required to control and clear Salmonella infection. Despite this, there are limited data on cellular immune responses in humans infected with wild type S. Typhi.
For this work, we used an automated approach to purify a subset of S. Typhi proteins identified in previous antibody-based immuno-affinity screens and antigens known to be expressed in vivo, including StaF-putative fimbrial protein-STY0202, StbB-fimbrial chaperone-STY0372, CsgF-involved in curli production-STY1177, CsgD- putative regulatory protein-STY1179, OppA-periplasmic oligopeptide binding protein precursor-STY1304, PagC-outer membrane invasion protein-STY1878, and conserved hypothetical protein-STY2195; we also generated and analyzed a crude membrane preparation of S. Typhi (MP). In comparison to samples collected from uninfected Bangladeshi and North American participants, we detected significant interferon-γ responses in PBMCs stimulated with MP, StaF, StbB, CsgF, CsgD, OppA, STY2195, and PagC in patients bacteremic with S. Typhi in Bangladesh. The majority of interferon-γ expressing T cells were CD4 cells, although CD8 responses also occurred. We also assessed cellular proliferation responses in bacteremic patients, and confirmed increased responses in infected individuals to MP, StaF, STY2195, and PagC in convalescent compared to acute phase samples and compared to controls. StaF is a fimbrial protein homologous to E. coli YadK, and contains a Pfam motif thought to be involved in cellular adhesion. PagC is expressed in vivo under the control of the virulence-associated PhoP-regulon required for intra-macrophage survival of Salmonella. STY2195 is a conserved hypothetical protein of unknown function.
This is the first analysis of cellular immune responses to purified S. Typhi antigens in patients with typhoid fever. These results indicate that patients generate significant CD4 and CD8 interferon-γ responses to specific S. Typhi antigens during typhoid fever, and that these responses are elevated at the time of clinical presentation. These observations suggest that an interferon-γ based detection system could be used to diagnose individuals with typhoid fever during the acute stage of illness.
Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi infection is a significant global public health problem and the cause of typhoid fever. Salmonella are intracellular pathogens, and cellular immune responses are required to control and clear Salmonella infections. Despite this, there are limited data on cellular immune responses during wild type S. Typhi infection in humans. Here we report the assessment of cellular immune responses in humans with S. Typhi bacteremia through a screening approach that permitted us to evaluate interferon-γ and proliferation responses to a number of S. Typhi antigens. We detected significant interferon-γ CD4 and CD8 responses, as well as proliferative responses, to a number of recombinantly purified S. Typhi proteins as well as membrane preparation in infected patients. Antigen-specific interferon-γ responses were present at the time of clinical presentation in patients and absent in healthy controls. These observations could assist in the development of interferon-γ-based diagnostic assays for typhoid fever.