Microbiology & Immunology - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 682
A natural killer T (NKT) cell developmental pathway involving a thymus-dependent NK1.1(-) CD4(+) CD1d-dependent precursor stage
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2002-04-01)
The development of CD1d-dependent natural killer T (NKT) cells is poorly understood. We have used both CD1d/alpha-galactosylceramide (CD1d/alphaGC) tetramers and anti-NK1.1 to investigate NKT cell development in vitro and in vivo. Confirming the thymus-dependence of these cells, we show that CD1d/alphaGC tetramer-binding NKT cells, including NK1.1(+) and NK1.1(-) subsets, develop in fetal thymus organ culture (FTOC) and are completely absent in nude mice. Ontogenically, CD1d/alphaGC tetramer-binding NKT cells first appear in the thymus, at day 5 after birth, as CD4(+)CD8(-)NK1.1(-)cells. NK1.1(+) NKT cells, including CD4(+) and CD4(-)CD8(-) subsets, appeared at days 7-8 but remained a minor subset until at least 3 wk of age. Using intrathymic transfer experiments, CD4(+)NK1.1(-) NKT cells gave rise to NK1.1(+) NKT cells (including CD4(+) and CD4(-) subsets), but not vice-versa. This maturation step was not required for NKT cells to migrate to other tissues, as NK1.1(-) NKT cells were detected in liver and spleen as early as day 8 after birth, and the majority of NKT cells among recent thymic emigrants (RTE) were NK1.1(-). Further elucidation of this NKT cell developmental pathway should prove to be invaluable for studying the mechanisms that regulate the development of these cells.
The CD8 alpha(+) dendritic cell is responsible for inducing peripheral self-tolerance to tissue-associated antigens
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2002-10-21)
We previously described a mechanism for the maintenance of peripheral self-tolerance. This involves the cross-presentation of tissue-associated antigens by a bone marrow-derived cell type that stimulates the proliferation and ultimate deletion of self-reactive CD8 T cells. This process has been referred to as cross-tolerance. Here, we characterize the elusive cell type responsible for inducing cross-tolerance as a CD8alpha(+) dendritic cell (DC). To achieve this aim, transgenic mice were generated expressing yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) linked to CTL epitopes for ovalbumin and glycoprotein B (gB) of herpes simplex virus under the rat insulin promoter (RIP). Although tracking of YFP was inconclusive, the use of a highly sensitive gB-specific hybridoma that produced beta-galactosidase on encounter with antigen, enabled detection of antigen presentation by cells isolated from the pancreatic lymph node. This showed that a CD11c(+)CD8alpha(+) cell was responsible for cross-tolerance, the same DC subset as previously implicated in cross-priming. These data indicate that CD8alpha(+) DCs play a critical role in both tolerance and immunity to cell-associated antigens, providing a potential mechanism by which cytotoxic T lymphocyte can be immunized to viral antigens while maintaining tolerance to self.
Antibodies against merozoite surface protein (MSP)-1(19) are a major component of the invasion-inhibitory response in individuals immune to malaria
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2001-06-18)
Antibodies that bind to antigens expressed on the merozoite form of the malaria parasite can inhibit parasite growth by preventing merozoite invasion of red blood cells. Inhibitory antibodies are found in the sera of malaria-immune individuals, however, the specificity of those that are important to this process is not known. In this paper, we have used allelic replacement to construct a Plasmodium falciparum parasite line that expresses the complete COOH-terminal fragment of merozoite surface protein (MSP)-1(19) from the divergent rodent malaria P. chabaudi. By comparing this transfected line with parental parasites that differ only in MSP-1(19), we show that antibodies specific for this domain are a major component of the inhibitory response in P. falciparum-immune humans and P. chabaudi-immune mice. In some individual human sera, MSP-1(19) antibodies dominated the inhibitory activity. The finding that antibodies to a small region of a single protein play a major role in this process has important implications for malaria immunity and is strongly supportive of further understanding and development of MSP-1(19)-based vaccines.
Development of a free radical scavenging probiotic to mitigate coral bleaching
(Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2020-07-03)
ABSTRACT Corals are colonized by symbiotic microorganisms that exert a profound influence on the animal’s health. One noted symbiont is a single-celled alga (from the family Symbiodiniaceae ), which provides the coral with most of its fixed carbon. During thermal stress, hyperactivity of photosynthesis results in a toxic accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). If not scavenged by the antioxidant network, ROS may trigger a signaling cascade ending with the coral host and algal symbiont disassociating; this process is known as bleaching. Our goal was to construct a probiotic comprised of host-associated bacteria able to neutralize free radicals such as ROS. Using the coral model, the anemone Exaiptasia diaphana , and pure bacterial cultures isolated from the model animal, we identified six strains with high free radical scavenging ability belonging to the families Alteromonadaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Flavobacteriaceae , and Micrococcaceae . In parallel, we established a “negative” probiotic consisting of genetically related strains with poor free radical scavenging capacities. From their whole genome sequences, we explored genes of interest that may contribute to their potential beneficial roles, which may help facilitate the therapeutic application of a bacterial probiotic. In particular, the occurrence of key pathways that are known to influence ROS in each of the strains has been inferred from the genomes sequences and are reported here. IMPORTANCE Coral bleaching is tightly linked to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which accumulates to a toxic level in algae-harboring host cells leading to coral-algal dissociation. Interventions targeting ROS accumulation, such as the application of exogenous antioxidants, have shown promise for maintaining the coral-algal partnership. With the feasibility of administering antioxidants directly to corals being low, we aim to develop a probiotic to neutralize toxic ROS during a thermal stress event. This probiotic can be tested with corals or a coral model to assess its efficacy in improving coral resistance to environmental stress.
Template-Mediated Assembly of DNA into Microcapsules for Immunological Modulation
(WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2020-08-06)
There is a need for effective vaccine delivery systems and vaccine adjuvants without extraneous excipients that can compromise or minimize their efficacy. Vaccine adjuvants cytosine-phosphate-guanosine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs) can effectively activate immune responses to secrete cytokines. However, CpG ODNs are not stable in serum due to enzymatic cleavage and are difficult to transport through cell membranes. Herein, DNA microcapsules made of CpG ODNs arranged into 3D nanostructures are developed to improve the serum stability and immunostimulatory effect of CpG. The DNA microcapsules allow encapsulation and co-delivery of cargoes, including glycogen. The DNA capsules, with >4 million copies of CpG motifs per capsule, are internalized in cells and accumulate in endosomes, where the Toll-like receptor 9 is engaged by CpG. The capsules induce up to 10-fold and 20-fold increases in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 secretion, respectively, in RAW264.7 cells compared with CpG ODNs. Furthermore, the microcapsules stimulate TNF-α and IL-6 secretion in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The immunostimulatory activity of the capsules correlates to their intracellular trafficking, endosomal confinement, and degradation, assessed by confocal and super-resolution microscopy. These DNA capsules can serve as both adjuvants to stimulate an immune reaction and vehicles to encapsulate vaccine peptides/genes to achieve synergistic immune effects.
Epidemiological consequences of enduring strain-specific immunity requiring repeated episodes of infection
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-06-01)
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) skin infections are caused by a diverse array of strain types and are highly prevalent in disadvantaged populations. The role of strain-specific immunity in preventing GAS infections is poorly understood, representing a critical knowledge gap in vaccine development. A recent GAS murine challenge study showed evidence that sterilising strain-specific and enduring immunity required two skin infections by the same GAS strain within three weeks. This mechanism of developing enduring immunity may be a significant impediment to the accumulation of immunity in populations. We used an agent-based mathematical model of GAS transmission to investigate the epidemiological consequences of enduring strain-specific immunity developing only after two infections with the same strain within a specified interval. Accounting for uncertainty when correlating murine timeframes to humans, we varied this maximum inter-infection interval from 3 to 420 weeks to assess its impact on prevalence and strain diversity, and considered additional scenarios where no maximum inter-infection interval was specified. Model outputs were compared with longitudinal GAS surveillance observations from northern Australia, a region with endemic infection. We also assessed the likely impact of a targeted strain-specific multivalent vaccine in this context. Our model produced patterns of transmission consistent with observations when the maximum inter-infection interval for developing enduring immunity was 19 weeks. Our vaccine analysis suggests that the leading multivalent GAS vaccine may have limited impact on the prevalence of GAS in populations in northern Australia if strain-specific immunity requires repeated episodes of infection. Our results suggest that observed GAS epidemiology from disease endemic settings is consistent with enduring strain-specific immunity being dependent on repeated infections with the same strain, and provide additional motivation for relevant human studies to confirm the human immune response to GAS skin infection.
CD8(+)XCR1(neg) Dendritic Cells Express High Levels of Toll-Like Receptor 5 and a Unique Complement of Endocytic Receptors
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2019-01-16)
Conventional dendritic cells (cDC) resident in the lymphoid organs of mice have been classically divided into CD8+ and CD8neg subsets. It is well-established that CD8+ dendritic cells (DCs) and their migratory counterparts in the periphery comprise the cross-presenting cDC1 subset. In contrast, CD8neg DCs are grouped together in the heterogeneous cDC2 subset. CD8neg DCs are relatively poor cross-presenters and drive more prominent CD4+ T cell responses against exogenous antigens. The discovery of the X-C motif chemokine receptor 1 (XCR1) as a specific marker of cross-presenting DCs, has led to the identification of a divergent subset of CD8+ DCs that lacks the ability to cross-present. Here, we report that these poorly characterized CD8+XCR1neg DCs have a gene expression profile that is consistent with both plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and cDC2. Our data demonstrate that CD8+XCR1neg DCs possess a unique pattern of endocytic receptors and a restricted toll-like receptor (TLR) profile that is particularly enriched for TLR5, giving them a unique position within the DC immunosurveillance network.
Manual of Travel Medicine Fourth Edition
(Springer Singapore, 2019)
The fourth edition of this well received book provides an authoritative and up-to-date resource to support good practice in travel medicine, a field that has evolved substantially in recent years. Concretely, there has been intensified monitoring of health problems among travelers, as well as extensive research efforts, which have led to the development of evidence-based approaches to the field. The book includes expert recommendations regarding e.g. immunizations, malaria prophylaxis, travelers’ diarrhea, altitude sickness, emerging infections, and non-infectious health issues encountered by travelers. It provides a practical approach to the pre-travel consultation and management of most issues that arise in medical care for travelers. In addition, it provides expert advice for high-risk travelers, e.g. those with immunosuppression, the elderly, pregnant women and young children. The text offers a user-friendly, practical handbook for healthcare practitioners during their clinical consultations, as well as nurses and pharmacists.
Forced expression of muscle specific kinase slows postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor loss in a mouse model of MuSK myasthenia gravis
We investigated the influence of postsynaptic tyrosine kinase signaling in a mouse model of muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG). Mice administered repeated daily injections of IgG from MuSK MG patients developed impaired neuromuscular transmission due to progressive loss of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) from the postsynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction. In this model, anti-MuSK-positive IgG caused a reduction in motor endplate immunolabeling for phosphorylated Src-Y418 and AChR β-subunit-Y390 before any detectable loss of MuSK or AChR from the endplate. Adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV) encoding MuSK fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein (MuSK-EGFP) was injected into the tibialis anterior muscle to increase MuSK synthesis. When mice were subsequently challenged with 11 daily injections of IgG from MuSK MG patients, endplates expressing MuSK-EGFP retained more MuSK and AChR than endplates of contralateral muscles administered empty vector. Recordings of compound muscle action potentials from myasthenic mice revealed less impairment of neuromuscular transmission in muscles that had been injected with rAAV-MuSK-EGFP than contralateral muscles (empty rAAV controls). In contrast to the effects of MuSK-EGFP, forced expression of rapsyn-EGFP provided no such protection to endplate AChR when mice were subsequently challenged with MuSK MG IgG. In summary, the immediate in vivo effect of MuSK autoantibodies was to suppress MuSK-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins in the postsynaptic membrane, while increased MuSK synthesis protected endplates against AChR loss. These results support the hypothesis that reduced MuSK kinase signaling initiates the progressive disassembly of the postsynaptic membrane scaffold in this mouse model of MuSK MG.
AUTOIMMUNITY CAUSED BY IGNORANT CD8(+) T-CELLS IS TRANSIENT AND DEPENDS ON AVIDITY
(AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS, 1995-09-01)
RIP-Kb mice, which express H-2Kb (Kb) molecules on their pancreatic beta cells, were used to examine the requirements for induction of autoimmune diabetes caused by CD8+ T cells. Previous studies showed that when these mice were crossed to mice expressing a Kb-specific TCR transgene, those CD8+ cells expressing the highest density of the transgenic TCR (presumably the highest avidity cells) were deleted intrathymically due to aberrant expression of Kb at this site. The remaining low avidity cells ignored Kb-bearing beta cells, even after priming, but were able to cause autoimmune diabetes when supplied with Il-2. To examine the properties of high avidity autoreactive CD8+ T cells, the thymic compartment of RIP-Kb mice was replaced with normal tissue to enable the maturation of CD8+ cells expressing the highest density of the transgenic TCR. These high avidity cells generally ignored Kb-expressing beta cells, but became autoaggressive after priming. Importantly, analysis of islet infiltration by CD8+ T cells revealed the presence of infiltrating cells in all mice examined within 3 wk of priming, but such infiltration was not usually apparent at later time points. In some cases, multiple primings were necessary for full development of autoimmunity. This implied that beta cells could act as transient targets for CD8+ T cell attack but could not sustain the stimulation of primed CD8+ cells. These studies indicate that the duration of priming stimulus and the avidity of the autoreactive CD8+ cells profoundly influence the severity of autoimmune disease.
Differential Gene Expression in Menstrual Endometrium From Women With Self-Reported Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2017-01-01)
Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) is a significant social and public health issue for menstruating women. Development of targeted treatments has been limited by poor understanding of local mechanisms underlying HMB. We aimed to determine how gene expression differs in menstrual phase endometrium from women with HMB. Menstrual phase endometrial biopsies were collected from women with (n = 7) and without (n = 10) HMB (regular menstrual cycles, no known pelvic pathology), as well as women with uterine fibroids (n = 7, n = 4 had HMB). Biopsies were analyzed using Illumina Sentrix Human HT12 arrays and data analyzed using "Remove Unwanted Variation-inverse". Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery v6.7 were used to identify gene pathways, functional gene clusters, and upstream regulators specific to the clinical groupings. Individual genes of interest were examined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. In total, 829 genes were differentially expressed in one or more comparisons. Significant canonical pathways and gene clusters enriched in controls relative to both HMB and fibroid groups suggest the mechanisms responsible for HMB include modifications of the endometrial inflammatory or infection response. In contrast, differentially expressed genes in women with fibroids suggest modifications of hemoglobin, antigen processing, and the major histocompatibility complex (class II, beta chain) activity. In conclusion, HMB associated with fibroids may be regulated by different endometrial mechanisms from HMB in women without fibroids and from normal menstrual bleeding. These novel data provide numerous testable hypotheses that will advance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for HMB.
Mycobacterium ulcerans Population Genomics To Inform on the Spread of Buruli Ulcer across Central Africa
(AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY, 2019-01-01)
Buruli ulcer is a neglected tropical disease of skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by infection with the pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans Many critical issues for disease control, such as understanding the mode of transmission and identifying source reservoirs of M. ulcerans, are still largely unknown. Here, we used genomics to reconstruct in detail the evolutionary trajectory and dynamics of M. ulcerans populations at a central African scale and at smaller geographical village scales. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data were analyzed from 179 M. ulcerans strains isolated from all Buruli ulcer foci in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Republic of Congo, and Angola that have ever yielded positive M. ulcerans cultures. We used both temporal associations and the study of the mycobacterial demographic history to estimate the contribution of humans as a reservoir in Buruli ulcer transmission. Our phylogeographic analysis revealed one almost exclusively predominant sublineage of M. ulcerans that arose in Central Africa and proliferated in its different regions of endemicity during the Age of Discovery. We observed how the best sampled endemic hot spot, the Songololo territory, became an area of endemicity while the region was being colonized by Belgium (1880s). We furthermore identified temporal parallels between the observed past population fluxes of M. ulcerans from the Songololo territory and the timing of health policy changes toward control of the Buruli ulcer epidemic in that region. These findings suggest that an intervention based on detecting and treating human cases in an area of endemicity might be sufficient to break disease transmission chains, irrespective of other reservoirs of the bacterium.IMPORTANCE Buruli ulcer is a destructive skin and soft tissue infection caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans The disease is characterized by progressive skin ulceration, which can lead to permanent disfigurement and long-term disability. Currently, the major hurdles facing disease control are incomplete understandings of both the mode of transmission and environmental reservoirs of M. ulcerans As decades of spasmodic environmental sampling surveys have not brought us much closer to overcoming these hurdles, the Buruli ulcer research community has recently switched to using comparative genomics. The significance of our research is in how we used both temporal associations and the study of the mycobacterial demographic history to estimate the contribution of humans as a reservoir in Buruli ulcer transmission. Our approach shows that it might be possible to use bacterial population genomics to assess the impact of health interventions, providing valuable feedback for managers of disease control programs in areas where health surveillance infrastructure is poor.