Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an obligate human intracellular pathogen which remains a major killer worldwide. A remarkable feature of M. tuberculosis infection is the ability of the pathogen to persist within the host for decades despite an impressive onslaught of stresses. In this review we seek to outline the host inflicted stresses experienced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterial strategies used to withstand these stresses, and how this information should guide our efforts to combat this global pathogen.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Stress Responses; Pathogenesis
Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a pleiotropic cytokine with a broad range of biological functions in many diverse cell types. It plays a major role in the development of inflammatory and protective immune responses to microbial invaders and parasites by modulating immune cells of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms by which IL-15 modulates the host response to infectious agents and its utility as a cytokine adjuvant in vaccines against infectious pathogens.
IL-15; infectious diseases; vaccines; inflammation; molecular adjuvants
Host antimicrobial mechanisms reduce iron availability to pathogens. Iron proteins influencing the innate immune response include hepcidin, lactoferrin, siderocalin, haptoglobin, hemopexin, Nramp1, ferroportin and the transferrin receptor. Numerous global health threats are influenced by iron status and provide examples of our growing understanding of the connections between infection and iron metabolism.
Innate immunity; Inflammation; Hepcidin
Emerging evidence identifies multiple roles for nucleoside-diphosphate-kinase in host-microbe interaction. We provide the first synopsis of utilization of this molecule by various microorganisms during colonization of host tissues. Additionally, we propose novel mechanisms this effector may participate in, which could be crucial for microbial adaptation in chronic host infection.
nucleoside-diphoshate-kinase; Ndpk/nm23; persistent infection; Porphyromonas gingivalis; secreted effector; purinergic signaling; extracellular ATP; danger signal
Autophagy is a homeostatic process that functions to balance cellular metabolism and promote cell survival during stressful conditions by delivering cytoplasmic components for lysosomal degradation and subsequent recycling. During viral infection, autophagy can act as a surveillance mechanism that delivers viral antigens to the endosomal/lysosomal compartments that are enriched in immune sensors. Additionally, activated immune sensors can signal to activate autophagy. To evade this antiviral activity, many viruses elaborate functions to block the autophagy pathway at a variety of steps. Alternatively, some viruses actively subvert autophagy for their own benefit. Manipulated autophagy has been proposed to facilitate nearly every stage of the viral lifecycle in direct and indirect ways. In this review, we synthesize the extensive literature on virus-autophagy interactions, emphasizing the role of autophagy in antiviral immunity and the mechanisms by which viruses subvert autophagy for their own benefit.
autophagy; viruses; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; TLRs; selective autophagy; metabolism
Macrophages respond to infection with Legionella pneumophila by the induction of inflammatory mediators, including type I Interferons (IFN-Is). To explore whether the bacterial second messenger cyclic 3’-5’ diguanylate (c-diGMP) activates some of these mediators, macrophages were infected with L. pneumophila strains in which the levels of bacterial c-diGMP had been altered. Intriguingly, there was a positive correlation between c-diGMP levels and IFN-I expression. Subsequent studies with synthetic derivatives of cdiGMP, and newly described 3’-5’ diadenylate (c-diAMP), determined that these molecules activate overlapping inflammatory responses in human and murine macrophages. Moreover, UV cross-linking studies determined that both dinucleotides physically associate with a shared set of host proteins. Fractionation of macrophage extracts on a biotin-c-diGMP affinity matrix led to the identification of a set of candidate host binding proteins. These studies suggest that mammalian macrophages can sense and mount a specific inflammatory response to bacterial dinucleotides.
L. pneumophila; cyclic dinucleotides; PAMPs; interferons (ifns); cytokines and signal transduction
Trypanosoma cruzi the cause of Chagas disease persists in tissues of infected experimental animals and humans. Here we demonstrate the persistence of the parasite in adipose tissue from of three of 10 elderly seropositive patients with chronic chagasic heart disease. Nine control patients had no parasites in the fat. We also demonstrate that T. cruzi parasitizes primary adipocytes in vitro. Thus, in humans as in mice the parasite may persist in adipose tissue for decades and become a reservoir of infection.
Chagas disease; Trypanosoma cruzi; Adipose tissue; Adipocyte
The introduction of a new influenza strain into human circulation leads to rapid global spread. This review summarizes innate and adaptive immunity to influenza viruses, with an emphasis on T-cell responses that provide cross-protection between distinct subtypes and strains. We discuss antigenic variation within T-cell immunogenic peptides and our understanding of pre-existing immunity towards the pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 strain.
influenza virus; adaptive immunity; innate immunity; H1N1 2009; antigenic variation
Pulmonary surfactant is a complex surface-active substance comprised of key phospholipids and proteins that has many essential functions. Surfactant’s unique composition is integrally related to its surface-active properties, its critical role in host defense, and emerging immunomodulatory activities ascribed to surfactant lipids. Together these effector functions provide for lung stability and protection from a barrage of potentially virulent infectious pathogens.
Surfactant; collectin; phospholipid; infection
When mice are subjected to a Pseudomonas aeruginosa challenge 5 days after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), clearance of the Pseudomonas is diminished when compared to sham mice. The object of this study was to determine which component(s) of CLP contributed to the impairment of the innate immune response. Mice subjected to either trauma alone or cecal ischemia/necrosis alone did not have impaired ability to clear a subsequent Pseudomonas challenge (determined by colony-forming units (cfu’s) after culture of spleen tissue). However, mice subjected to abdominal contamination with heat-killed cecal contents had reduced ability to clear the subsequent Pseudomonas challenge. In contrast to normobiotic mice, neither CLP performed in germ-free mice nor abdominal contamination of mice with cecal contents from germ-free mice adversely affected clearance of a subsequent Pseudomonas challenge. These data suggest that suppressed immune function after CLP is due to exposure to microbial ligands within the cecal lumen rather than tissue trauma, ischemia, or necrosis. However, suppression of immune function did not appear to be due to exposure to LPS as TLR4-deficient mice subject to abdominal contamination with cecal contents had diminished clearance of a Pseudomonas challenge similar to that seen in wild-type mice.
Animal model; sepsis; Mice; Immunosuppression; Pseudomonas
Brucella, the causative agent of brucellosis, a major zoonotic disease affecting a broad range of mammals, is a gram negative bacterium whose virulence is dependent on the capacity to attach and invade different cells of the host. The bacterium is able to infect through a diverse repertoire of epitheliums: skin, airways or gastric. Although much has been studied on the mechanisms Brucella uses to establish an intracellular replication niche, almost none is known on how the bacterium adheres and invades host cells. We report here the identification of a pathogenicity island that harbors a gene homologous to proteins with bacterial immunoglobulin-like domains present in other pathogens that play a role in attachment and invasion. Deletion of the entire island results in a mutant with a reduced attachment capacity measured by intracellular replication and adhesion assays. Intraperitoneal and oral experimental infection of mice strongly suggests that this island plays a role during the oral infection probably mediating attachment and trespassing of the gastric epithelium to establish a systemic infection.
BRUCELLA; ADHESION; VIRULENCE
The association of Chlamydia pneumoniae and atherosclerosis has been well documented. Recently, it has been demonstrated that C. pneumoniae upregulates expression of the lectin-like ox-LDL receptor (LOX-1) in endothelial cells. Many of the pro-atherogenic effects of ox-LDL occur through its activation of and uptake by LOX-1. This class E scavenger receptor contains a carbohydrate recognition domain common to the C type lectin family. Previously, we have demonstrated that the major outer membrane protein of the chlamydiae is glycosylated and glycan removal abrogates infectivity of C. pneumoniae for endothelial cells. In this study, we investigated whether C. pneumoniae binds to LOX-1. The results show that 1) infection of endothelial cells by C. pneumoniae is inhibited by ligands that bind to the LOX-1 receptor, but not by ligands binding to other scavenger receptors; 2) anti-LOX-1 antibody inhibits C. pneumoniae infectivity, while antibodies against other scavenger receptors do not; 3) anti-LOX-1 antibody inhibits attachment of C. pneumoniae to endothelial cells; and 4) C. pneumoniae co-localizes with LOX-1. These effects were not observed for Chlamydia trachomatis. In conclusion, C. pneumoniae binds to the LOX-1 receptor, which is known to promote atherosclerosis.
Chlamydia pneumoniae; LOX-1 receptor; Atherosclerosis
Considerable lung injury results from the inflammatory response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The P. aeruginosa laboratory strain PAO1, an environmental isolate, and isolates from CF patients were cultured in vitro and outer membrane vesicles from those cultures were quantitated, purified, and characterized. Vesicles were produced throughout the growth phases of the culture and vesicle yield was strain-independent. Strain-dependent differences in the protein composition of vesicles were quantitated and identified. The aminopeptidase PaAP (PA2939) was highly enriched in vesicles from CF isolates. Vesicles from all strains elicited IL-8 secretion by lung epithelial cells. These results suggest that P. aeruginosa colonizing the CF lung may produce vesicles with a particular composition and that the vesicles could contribute to inflammation.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Outer membrane; Vesicles; Cystic Fibrosis; Aminopeptidase; Pathogenesis
Wolbachia, an endosymbiont present in filarial nematodes, have been implicated in a variety of roles, including the worm development and survival. Elucidation of the role of Wolbachia in filarial nematode biology and pathogenesis has become the focus of many studies and its contribution to parasite survival or immune response is still unclear. Recombinant Wolbachia HSP60 decreases T cell activation and lymphoproliferation in filarial infected people compared to endemic controls as observed by the assessment of T cell activation markers and cytokine responses in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Reduced T cell activation may be linked to T regulatory cell activity since it is associated with increased expression of CTLA4 and CD25 on CD4+ T cells in filarial infected group upon stimulation with recombinant Wolbachia HSP60. In addition, elevated interleukin-10 and TGF-β cytokines corroborate the reduced CD4+ T cell activation and interferon-γ observed upon recombinant Wolbachia HSP60 stimulation in filarial patients. Hence, these findings indicate that Wolbachia HSP60 may also contribute to the immune modulation seen in filarial patients.
Wolbachia; Immune modulation; Filaria; Brugia malayi; Cytokines; T cells
Recombinant Wolbachia heat shock protein 60 (rWmhsp60) induces gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in human monocytic cell line THP-1. In addition, it inhibits the phagocytic activity and does not alter the nitric oxide production by differentiated THP-1 macrophages, which corroborates with no significant change in inducible nitric oxide synthase gene expression in rWmhsp60 treated THP-1 monocytes. Further, 24 h stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from normal individuals by rWmhsp60 reveals that monocytes enter the late apoptotic stage, while lymphocytes do not show apoptosis. Thus these findings suggest that rWmhsp60 may contribute to inflammation mediated monocyte dysfunction in filarial pathogenesis.
Wolbachia; Filariasis; Cytokines; Monocytes; Heat shock proteins; Apoptosis
The enterococcal surface protein Esp, specifically linked to nosocomial Enterococcus faecium, is involved in biofilm formation. To assess the role of Esp in endocarditis, a biofilm-associated infection, an Esp-expressing E. faecium strain (E1162) or its Esp-deficient mutant (E1162Δesp) were inoculated through a catheter into the left ventricle of rats. After 24 hours, less E1162Δesp than E1162 were recovered from heart valve vegetations. In addition, anti-Esp antibodies were detected in Esp-positive E. faecium bacteremia and endocarditis patient sera. In conclusion, Esp contributes to colonization of E. faecium at the heart valves. Furthermore, systemic infection elicits an Esp-specific antibody response in humans.
Enterococcus faecium; Enterococcal surface protein Esp; endocarditis; pathogenesis; immunity
Innate immune responses play a critical role in controlling acute infections due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in both mice and in humans. In this review we focus on innate immune recognition and clearance mechanisms that are important for controlling P. aeruginosa in the mammalian lung, with particular attention to those that influence the outcome of in vivo infection in murine models.
Innate immunity; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; murine models; pneumonia
Glycoproteins are involved in many important molecular recognition processes including invasion, adhesion, differentiation, and development. To identify the glycoproteins of Toxoplasma gondii, a proteomic analysis was undertaken. T. gondii proteins were prepared and fractioned using lectin affinity chromatography. The proteins in each fraction were then separated using SDS-PAGE and identified by tryptic in gel digestion followed by tandem mass spectrometry. Utilizing these methods 132 proteins were identified. Among the identified proteins were 17 surface proteins, 9 microneme proteins, 15 rhoptry proteins, 11 heat shock proteins (HSP), and 32 hypothetical proteins. Several proteins had 1 to 5 transmembrane domains (TMD) with some being as large as 608.3 kDa. Both lectin-fluorescence labeling and lectin blotting were employed to confirm the presence of carbohydrates on the surface or cytoplasm of T. gondii parasites. PCR demonstrated that selected hypothetical proteins were expressed in T. gondii tachyzoites. This is data provides a large scale analysis of the T. gondii glycoproteome. Studies of the function of glycosylation of these proteins may help elucidate mechanism(s) involved in invasion improving drug therapy as well as identify glycoproteins that may prove to be useful as vaccine candidates.
glycosylation; Toxoplasma; glycoproteome; membrane proteins; lectin chromatography
Cowpox virus, a zoonotic poxvirus endemic to Eurasia, infects a large number of host species which makes its eradication impossible. The elimination of world-wide smallpox vaccination programs renders the human population increasingly susceptible to infection by orthopoxviruses resulting in a growing number of zoonotic infections including CPXV transmitted from domestic animals to humans. The ability of CPXV to infect a wide range of mammalian host is likely due to the fact that, among the orthopoxviruses, CPXV encodes the most complete set of open reading frames expected to encode immunomodulatory proteins. This renders CPXV particularly interesting for studying poxviral strategies to evade and counteract the host immune responses.
Leishmania spp. protozoa are obligate intracellular parasites that replicate in macrophages during mammalian infection. Efficient phagocytosis and survival in macrophages are important determinants of parasite virulence. Macrophage lines differ dramatically in their ability to sustain intracellular Leishmania infantum chagasi (Lic). We report that the U937 monocytic cell line supported the intracellular replication and cell-to-cell spread of Lic during 72 hours after parasite addition, whereas primary human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) did not. Electron microscopy and live cell imaging illustrated that Lic promastigotes anchored to MDMs via their anterior ends and were engulfed through symmetrical pseudopods. In contrast, U937 cells bound Lic in diverse orientations, and extended membrane lamellae to reorient and internalize parasites through coiling phagocytosis. Lic associated tightly with the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) membrane in both cell types. PVs fused with LAMP-1-expressing compartments 24 hours after phagocytosis by MDMs, whereas U937 cell PVs remained LAMP-1 negative. The expression of one phagocytic receptor (CR3) was higher in MDMs than U937 cells, leading us to speculate that parasite uptake proceeds through dissimilar pathways between these cells. We hypothesize that the mechanism of phagocytosis differs between primary versus immortalized human macrophage cells, with corresponding differences in the subsequent intracellular fate of the parasite.
MACROPHAGES; PHAGOCYTOSIS; LEISHMANIA; CR3 RECEPTOR; U937 CELLS
Candida albicans interactions with epithelial cells are critical for commensal growth, fungal pathogenicity and host defence. This review will outline our current understanding of C. albicans-epithelial interactions and will discuss how this may lead to the induction of a protective mucosal immune response.
Candida albicans; yeast; hyphae; epithelial cells; oral; vaginal; mucosal; innate immunity; induced endocytosis; active penetration; cytokines; chemokines; commensal; pathogen
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a significant cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Characterization of this pathogen has revealed a unique repertoire of virulence factors that allow for colonization of the human host and disease. The following describes the known pathogenicity determinants while establishing the need for continued research.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus; Gastroenteritis; Hemolysin; Type III secretion system; Pathogenesis
Immune cells express receptors for extracellular nucleotides named P2 receptors. P2 receptors transduce signals delivered by nucleotides present in the extracellular environment. Accruing evidence shows that purinergic signalling has a profound effect on multiple immune cell responses such as T lymphocyte proliferation, chemotaxis, cytokine release, phagocytosis, Ag presentation and cytotoxicity. This makes P2 receptors an attractive target for the therapy of immuno-mediated disease and cancer.
Nucleotides; Adenosine triphosphate; Damage associated molecular patterns (DAMP); Purinergic receptors; Inflammasome; Autoimmune diseases
Bordetellosis is an upper respiratory disease of turkeys caused by Bordetella avium in which the bacteria attach specifically to ciliated respiratory epithelial cells. Little is known about the mechanisms of pathogenesis of this disease, which has a negative impact in the commercial turkey industry. In this study, we produced a novel explant organ culture system that was able to successfully reproduce pathogenesis of B. avium in vitro, using tracheal tissue derived from 26 day-old turkey embryos. Treatment of the explants with whole cells of B. avium virulent strain 197n and culture supernatant, but not lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or tracheal cytotoxin (TCT), specifically induced apoptosis in ciliated cells, as shown by annexin V and TUNEL staining. LPS and TCT are known virulence factors of B. pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough. Treatment with whole cells of B. avium and LPS specifically induced NO response in ciliated cells, shown by uNOS staining and diaphorase activity. The explant system is being used as a model to elucidate specific molecules responsible for the symptoms of bordetellosis.
Yersiniabactin (Ybt) is a siderophore-dependent iron uptake system encoded on a pathogenicity island that is widespread among pathogenic bacteria including the Yersiniae. While biosynthesis of the siderophore has been elucidated, the secretion mechanism and a few components of the uptake/utilization pathway are unidentified. ybt genes are transcriptionally repressed by Fur but activated by YbtA, likely in combination with the siderophore itself. The Ybt system is essential for the ability of Y. pestis to cause bubonic plague and important in pneumonic plague as well. However, the ability to cause fatal septicemic plague is independent of Ybt.
Yersiniabactin; Yersinia pestis; iron transport; siderophore; plague