Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) is an important subset of Shiga toxin–producing (Stx-producing) E. coli (STEC), pathogens that have been implicated in outbreaks of food-borne illness and can cause intestinal and systemic disease, including severe renal damage. Upon attachment to intestinal epithelium, EHEC generates “attaching and effacing” (AE) lesions characterized by intimate attachment and actin rearrangement upon host cell binding. Stx produced in the gut transverses the intestinal epithelium, causing vascular damage that leads to systemic disease. Models of EHEC infection in conventional mice do not manifest key features of disease, such as AE lesions, intestinal damage, and systemic illness. In order to develop an infection model that better reflects the pathogenesis of this subset of STEC, we constructed an Stx-producing strain of Citrobacter rodentium, a murine AE pathogen that otherwise lacks Stx. Mice infected with Stx-producing C. rodentium developed AE lesions on the intestinal epithelium and Stx-dependent intestinal inflammatory damage. Further, the mice experienced lethal infection characterized by histopathological and functional kidney damage. The development of a murine model that encompasses AE lesion formation and Stx-mediated tissue damage will provide a new platform upon which to identify EHEC alterations of host epithelium that contribute to systemic disease.
Emily M. Mallick, Megan E. McBee, Vijay K. Vanguri, Angela R. Melton-Celsa, Katherine Schlieper, Brad J. Karalius, Alison D. O’Brien, Joan R. Butterton, John M. Leong, David B. Schauer
Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most lethal form of human malaria, replicates in the host liver during the initial stage of infection. However, in vivo malaria liver-stage (LS) studies in humans are virtually impossible, and in vitro models of LS development do not reconstitute relevant parasite growth conditions. To overcome these obstacles, we have adopted a robust mouse model for the study of P. falciparum LS in vivo: the immunocompromised and fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase–deficient mouse (Fah–/–, Rag2–/–, Il2rg–/–, termed the FRG mouse) engrafted with human hepatocytes (FRG huHep). FRG huHep mice supported vigorous, quantifiable P. falciparum LS development that culminated in complete maturation of LS at approximately 7 days after infection, providing a relevant model for LS development in humans. The infections allowed observations of previously unknown expression of proteins in LS, including P. falciparum translocon of exported proteins 150 (PTEX150) and exported protein-2 (EXP-2), components of a known parasite protein export machinery. LS schizonts exhibited exoerythrocytic merozoite formation and merosome release. Furthermore, FRG mice backcrossed to the NOD background and repopulated with huHeps and human red blood cells supported reproducible transition from LS infection to blood-stage infection. Thus, these mice constitute reliable models to study human LS directly in vivo and demonstrate utility for studies of LS–to–blood-stage transition of a human malaria parasite.
Ashley M. Vaughan, Sebastian A. Mikolajczak, Elizabeth M. Wilson, Markus Grompe, Alexis Kaushansky, Nelly Camargo, John Bial, Alexander Ploss, Stefan H.I. Kappe
The myeloid-specific transcription factor, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein ε (C/EBPε) is a critical mediator of myelopoiesis. Mutation of this gene is responsible for neutrophil-specific granule deficiency in humans, a condition that confers susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus infection. We found that C/EBPε-deficient mice are severely affected by infection with S. aureus, and C/EBPε deficiency in neutrophils contributes to the infectious phenotype. Conversely, exposure to the epigenetic modulator nicotinamide (vitamin B3) increased expression of C/EBPε in WT myeloid cells. Further, nicotinamide increased the activity of C/EBPε and select downstream antimicrobial targets, particularly in neutrophils. In a systemic murine infection model as well as in murine and human peripheral blood, nicotinamide enhanced killing of S. aureus by up to 1,000 fold but had no effect when administered to either C/EBPε-deficient mice or mice depleted of neutrophils. Nicotinamide was efficacious in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings. Our findings suggest that C/EBPε is an important target to boost killing of bacteria by the innate immune system.
Pierre Kyme, Nils H. Thoennissen, Ching Wen Tseng, Gabriela B. Thoennissen, Andrea J. Wolf, Kenichi Shimada, Utz O. Krug, Kunik Lee, Carsten Müller-Tidow, Wolfgang E. Berdel, W. David Hardy, Adrian F. Gombart, H. Phillip Koeffler, George Y. Liu
Plasmodium falciparum is the major cause of malaria globally and is transmitted by mosquitoes. During parasitic development, P. falciparum–infected erythrocytes (P. falciparum–IEs) express multiple polymorphic proteins known as variant surface antigens (VSAs), including the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). VSA-specific antibodies are associated with protection from symptomatic and severe malaria. However, the importance of the different VSA targets of immunity to malaria remains unclear, which has impeded an understanding of malaria immunity and vaccine development. In this study, we developed assays using transgenic P. falciparum with modified PfEMP1 expression to quantify serum antibodies to VSAs among individuals exposed to malaria. We found that the majority of the human antibody response to the IE targets PfEMP1. Furthermore, our longitudinal studies showed that individuals with PfEMP1-specific antibodies had a significantly reduced risk of developing symptomatic malaria, whereas antibodies to other surface antigens were not associated with protective immunity. Using assays that measure antibody-mediated phagocytosis of IEs, an important mechanism in parasite clearance, we identified PfEMP1 as the major target of these functional antibodies. Taken together, these data demonstrate that PfEMP1 is a key target of humoral immunity. These findings advance our understanding of the targets and mediators of human immunity to malaria and have major implications for malaria vaccine development.
Jo-Anne Chan, Katherine B. Howell, Linda Reiling, Ricardo Ataide, Claire L. Mackintosh, Freya J.I. Fowkes, Michaela Petter, Joanne M. Chesson, Christine Langer, George M. Warimwe, Michael F. Duffy, Stephen J. Rogerson, Peter C. Bull, Alan F. Cowman, Kevin Marsh, James G. Beeson
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of severe bacterial meningitis in children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. To identify virulence factors preferentially expressed during meningitis, we conducted niche-specific genome-wide in vivo transcriptomic analysis after intranasal infection of mice with serotype 4 or 6A pneumococci. The expression of 34 bacterial genes was substantially altered in brain tissue of mice infected with either of the 2 strains. Ten upregulated genes were common to both strains, 7 of which were evaluated for their role in the development of meningitis. One previously uncharacterized protein, α-glycerophosphate oxidase (GlpO), was cytotoxic for human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) via generation of H2O2. A glpO deletion mutant was defective in adherence to HBMECs in vitro as well as in progression from the blood to the brain in vivo. Mutant bacteria also induced markedly reduced meningeal inflammation and brain pathology compared with wild type, despite similar levels of bacteremia. Immunization of mice with GlpO protected against invasive pneumococcal disease and provided additive protection when formulated with pneumolysin toxoid. Our results provide the basis of a strategy that can be adapted to identify genes that contribute to the development of meningitis caused by other pathogens.
Layla K. Mahdi, Hui Wang, Mark B. Van der Hoek, James C. Paton, Abiodun D. Ogunniyi
Effective control and eradication of malaria will require new tools to prevent transmission. Current antimalarial therapies targeting the asexual stage of Plasmodium do not prevent transmission of circulating gametocytes from infected humans to mosquitoes. Here, we describe a new class of transmission-blocking compounds, bumped kinase inhibitors (BKIs), which inhibit microgametocyte exflagellation. Oocyst formation and sporozoite production, necessary for transmission to mammals, were inhibited in mosquitoes fed on either BKI-1–treated human blood or mice treated with BKI-1. BKIs are hypothesized to act via inhibition of Plasmodium calcium-dependent protein kinase 4 and predicted to have little activity against mammalian kinases. Our data show that BKIs do not inhibit proliferation of mammalian cell lines and are well tolerated in mice. Used in combination with drugs active against asexual stages of Plasmodium, BKIs could prove an important tool for malaria control and eradication.
Kayode K. Ojo, Claudia Pfander, Natascha R. Mueller, Charlotte Burstroem, Eric T. Larson, Cassie M. Bryan, Anna M.W. Fox, Molly C. Reid, Steven M. Johnson, Ryan C. Murphy, Mark Kennedy, Henning Mann, David J. Leibly, Stephen N. Hewitt, Christophe L.M.J. Verlinde, Stefan Kappe, Ethan A. Merritt, Dustin J. Maly, Oliver Billker, Wesley C. Van Voorhis
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) not only causes painful recurrent oral-labial infections, it can also cause permanent brain damage and blindness. There is currently no HSV-1 vaccine. An effective vaccine must stimulate coordinated T cell responses, but the large size of the genome and the low frequency of HSV-1–specific T cells have hampered the search for the most effective T cell antigens for inclusion in a candidate vaccine. We have now developed what we believe to be novel methods to efficiently generate a genome-wide map of the responsiveness of HSV-1–specific T cells, and demonstrate the applicability of these methods to a second complex microbe, vaccinia virus. We used cross-presentation and CD137 activation–based FACS to enrich for polyclonal CD8+ T effector T cells. The HSV-1 proteome was prepared in a flexible format for analyzing both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells from study participants. Scans with participant-specific panels of artificial APCs identified an oligospecific response in each individual. Parallel CD137-based CD4+ T cell research showed discrete oligospecific recognition of HSV-1 antigens. Unexpectedly, the two HSV-1 proteins not previously considered as vaccine candidates elicited both CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses in most HSV-1–infected individuals. In this era of microbial genomics, our methods — also demonstrated in principle for vaccinia virus for both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells — should be broadly applicable to the selection of T cell antigens for inclusion in candidate vaccines for many pathogens.
Lichen Jing, Jürgen Haas, Tiana M. Chong, Joseph J. Bruckner, Greg C. Dann, Lichun Dong, Joshua O. Marshak, Christopher L. McClurkan, Tori N. Yamamoto, Susanne M. Bailer, Kerry J. Laing, Anna Wald, Georges M.G.M. Verjans, David M. Koelle
Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes widespread, persistent infection, often residing in macrophages that neither sterilize the bacilli nor allow them to cause disease. How macrophages restrict growth of pathogens is one of many aspects of human phagocyte biology whose study relies largely on macrophages differentiated from monocytes in vitro. However, such cells fail to recapitulate the phenotype of tissue macrophages in key respects, including that they support early, extensive replication of M. tuberculosis and die in several days. Here we found that human macrophages could survive infection, kill Mycobacterium bovis BCG, and severely limit the replication of M. tuberculosis for several weeks if differentiated in 40% human plasma under 5%–10% (physiologic) oxygen in the presence of GM-CSF and/or TNF-α followed by IFN-γ. Control was lost with fetal bovine serum, 20% oxygen, M-CSF, higher concentrations of cytokines, or premature exposure to IFN-γ. We believe that the new culture method will enable inquiries into the antimicrobial mechanisms of human macrophages.
Guillaume Vogt, Carl Nathan
An estimated one-third of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, although most affected individuals maintain a latent infection. This control is attributed to the formation of granulomas, cell masses largely comprising infected macrophages with T cells aggregated around them. Inflammatory DCs, characterized as CD11c+CD11b+Ly6C+, are also found in granulomas and are an essential component of the acute immune response to mycobacteria. However, their function during chronic infection is less well understood. Here, we report that CD11c+ cells dynamically traffic in and out of both acute and chronic granulomas induced by Mycobacterium bovis strain bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in mice. By transplanting Mycobacterium-induced granulomas containing fluorescently labeled CD11c+ cells and bacteria into unlabeled mice, we were able to follow CD11c+ cell trafficking and T cell activation. We found that half of the CD11c+ cells in chronic granulomas were exchanged within 1 week. Compared with tissue-resident DC populations, CD11c+ cells migrating out of granuloma-containing tissue had an unexpected systemic dissemination pattern. Despite low antigen availability, systemic CD4+ T cell priming still occurred during chronic infection. These data demonstrate that surveillance of granulomatous tissue by CD11c+ cells is continuous and that these cells are distinct from tissue-resident DC populations and support T cell priming during both stages of Mycobacterium infection. This intense DC surveillance may also be a feature of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and other granuloma-associated diseases.
Heidi A. Schreiber, Jeffrey S. Harding, Oliver Hunt, Christopher J. Altamirano, Paul D. Hulseberg, Danielle Stewart, Zsuzsanna Fabry, Matyas Sandor
Infection with different strains of the same species of bacteria often results in vastly different clinical outcomes. Despite extensive investigation, the genetic basis of microbial strain-specific virulence remains poorly understood. Recent whole-genome sequencing has revealed that SNPs are the most prevalent form of genetic diversity among different strains of the same species of bacteria. For invasive serotype M3 group A streptococci (GAS) strains, the gene encoding regulator of proteinase B (RopB) has the highest frequency of SNPs. Here, we have determined that ropB polymorphisms alter RopB function and modulate GAS host-pathogen interactions. Sequencing of ropB in 171 invasive serotype M3 GAS strains identified 19 distinct ropB alleles. Inactivation of the ropB gene in strains producing distinct RopB variants had dramatically divergent effects on GAS global gene expression. Additionally, generation of isoallelic GAS strains differing only by a single amino acid in RopB confirmed that variant proteins affected transcript levels of the gene encoding streptococcal proteinase B, a major RopB-regulated virulence factor. Comparison of parental, RopB-inactivated, and RopB isoallelic strains in mouse infection models demonstrated that ropB polymorphisms influence GAS virulence and disease manifestations. These data detail a paradigm in which unbiased, whole-genome sequence analysis of populations of clinical bacterial isolates creates new avenues of productive investigation into the pathogenesis of common human infections.
Ronan K. Carroll, Samuel A. Shelburne III, Randall J. Olsen, Bryce Suber, Pranoti Sahasrabhojane, Muthiah Kumaraswami, Stephen B. Beres, Patrick R. Shea, Anthony R. Flores, James M. Musser
No posts were found with this tag.