Sarah J Glennie

Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Kapeni, Southern Region, Malawi

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Publications (15)99.23 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Three billion people are exposed to household air pollution from biomass fuel use. Exposure is associated with higher incidence of pneumonia, and possibly tuberculosis. Understanding mechanisms underlying these defects would improve preventive strategies. Methods We used human alveolar macrophages obtained from healthy Malawian adults exposed naturally to household air pollution, and compared with human monocyte-derived macrophages exposed in vitro to respirable-sized particulates. Cellular inflammatory response was assessed by: IL-6 and IL-8 production in response to particulate challenge; phagocytosis of fluorescent-labelled beads and intraphagosomal oxidative burst capacity; ingestion and killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis measured by microscopy and quantitative culture. Particulate ingestion was quantified by digital image analysis. Results We were able to reproduce the carbon loading of naturally exposed alveolar macrophages by in vitro exposure of monocyte derived macrophages. Fine carbon black induced IL-8 release from monocyte derived and alveolar macrophages (p<0.05), with similar magnitude responses (log10 increases of 0.93 [SEM 0.2] vs 0.74 [SEM 0.19] respectively). Phagocytosis of pneumococci and mycobacteria was impaired with higher particulate loading. High particulate loading corresponded with a lower oxidative burst capacity (p=0.0015). There was no overall effect on killing of M. tuberculosis. Conclusion Alveolar macrophage function is altered by particulate loading. Our macrophage model is comparable morphologically to the in vivo uptake of particulates. Wood smoke exposed cells demonstrate reduced phagocytosis but unaffected mycobacterial killing, suggesting defects related to chronic wood smoke inhalation limited to specific innate immune functions.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 09/2014; · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-infected African adults are at a considerably increased risk of life-threatening invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) which persists despite antiretroviral therapy (ART). Defects in naturally acquired pneumococcal-specific T-cell immunity have been identified in HIV-infected adults. We have therefore determined the extent and nature of pneumococcal antigen-specific immune recovery following ART. HIV-infected adults were followed up at 3, 6 and 12 months after initiating ART. Nasopharyngeal swabs were cultured to determine carriage rates. Pneumococcal-specific CD4 T-cell immunity was assessed by IFN-γ ELISpot, proliferation assay, CD154 expression and intracellular cytokine assay. S. pneumoniae colonization was detected in 27% (13/48) of HIV-infected patients prior to ART. The rates remained elevated after 12 months ART, 41% (16/39) (p = 0.17) and significantly higher than in HIV-uninfected individuals (HIVneg 14%(4/29); p = 0.0147). CD4+ T-cell proliferative responses to pneumococcal antigens increased significantly to levels comparable with HIV-negative individuals at 12 months ART (p = 0.0799). However, recovery of the pneumococcal-specific CD154 expression was incomplete (p = 0.0015) as were IFN-γ ELISpot responses (p = 0.0040) and polyfunctional CD4+ T-cell responses (TNF-α, IL-2 and IFN-γ expression) (p = 0.0040) to a pneumolysin-deficient mutant strain. Impaired control of pneumococcal colonisation and incomplete restoration of pneumococcal-specific immunity may explain the persistently higher risk of IPD amongst HIV-infected adults on ART. Whether vaccination and prolonged ART can overcome this immunological defect and reduce the high levels of pneumococcal colonisation requires further evaluation.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e100640. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. S. Typhimurium (STm) remain a prominent cause of bacteremia in sub-Saharan Africa. Complement-fixing antibodies to STm develop by 2 years of age. We hypothesized that STm-specific CD4+ T cells develop alongside this process.Methods. Eighty healthy Malawian children aged 0-60 months were recruited. STm-specific CD4+ T cells producing IFNγ, TNFα and IL2 were quantified using intra-cellular cytokine staining. Antibodies to STm were measured by serum bactericidal activity assay (SBA), and anti-STm IgG antibodies by ELISA.Results. Between 2006 and 2011, 449 STm bacteremias were detected in children <5 years. STm-specific CD4+ T cells were acquired in infancy peaked at 14 months and then declined. STm-specific SBA was detectable in newborns, declined in the first 8 months, and then increased to peak at 35 months. Acquisition of SBA correlated with acquisition of anti-STm-LPS IgG (r=0.329, 95% CI [0.552, 0.062] p=0.01) but not anti-STm-OMP or anti-STm-FliC.Conclusion. Acquisition of STm-specific CD4+ T cells in early childhood is consistent with early exposure to STm or cross-reactive protein antigens priming this T cell development. STm-specific CD4+ T cells appear insufficient to protect against invasive NTS disease, but sequential acquisition of SBA to STm LPS is associated with decline in incidence of iNTS.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 01/2014; · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Much of the activity of the macrophage as an effector cell is performed within its phagocytic compartment. This ranges from the degradation of tissue debris as part of its homeostatic function to the generation of the superoxide burst as part of its microbicidal response to infection. We have developed a range of real-time readouts of phagosomal function that enable these activities to be rigorously quantified. This unit contains descriptions of several of these assays assessed by different methods of quantitation, including a fluorescence resonance emission transfer (FRET) assay for phagosome/lysosome fusion measured by spectrofluorometry, a fluorogenic assay for the superoxide burst measured by flow cytometry, and a fluorogenic assay for bulk proteolysis measured by confocal microscopy. These assays illustrate both the range of parameters that can be quantified and the flexibility of instrumentation that can be exploited for their quantitation. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. 102:14.34.1-14.34.14. © 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in immunology / edited by John E. Coligan ... [et al.] 01/2013; 102:14.34.1-14.34.14.
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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide, invasive pneumococcal disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae is most common in young children. In adults, disease rates decline following intermittent colonization and the acquisition of naturally acquired immunity. We characterized mucosal and systemic pneumococcal-specific T-cell responses in African children and adults who contend with intense rates of colonization, up to 100% and 60% respectively. We find most Malawian children have high pneumococcal-specific T-cell responses in tonsil tissue and peripheral blood. In addition, frequent commensalism generates CD25(hi) (Tregs) which modulate mucosal pneumococcal-specific T-cell responses in some children and ≥50% of adults. We propose that immune regulation may prolong pneumococcal colonization and predispose vulnerable individuals to disease.
    PLoS ONE 12/2012; 7(12):e51425. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. HIV-infected African adults have high rates of pneumococcal colonization and invasive disease. Here we have investigated the possibility that HIV disrupts the normal balance of pneumococcal-specific Th1/Th17 immunity to colonization, resulting in a more permissive nasopharyngeal niche.Methods. Collectively 136 HIV-infected and uninfected Malawian adults were enrolled into the study. Changes in rates and composition of nasopharyngeal pneumococcal colonization were analyzed using microarray. The underlying pneumococcal-specific Th1/Th17 responses associated with altered pneumococcal colonization were investigated using flow cytometry.Results. We find that pneumococcal carriage is only modestly increased in asymptomatic HIV-infected Malawian adults but that colonization rates rise dramatically during symptomatic disease (HIV(neg)13%, HIV(asy)19% and HIV(sym)38%). These rates remain high in those established on anti-retroviral therapy (ART): HIV(ART)33% (at 6-12months) and 52% (at 18months) with HIV-infected individuals carrying a broader range of invasive and non-invasive serotypes compared to HIV-negative controls. The frequency of multiple serotype carriage (1 serotype HIV(neg) 26%, HIV(asy) 30%, HIV(sym)31%, HIV(ART) 31%) is not affected. These changes in colonization are associated with generalized CD4 T cell depletion, impaired antigen-specific proliferation and a defect in pneumococcal-specific T-cell IFN-γ but not IL-17 production.Conclusions. These data reveal the persistently poor control of pneumococcal colonization in HIV-infected adults following immune ART-mediated reconstitution, highlighting a potential reservoir for person-to-person spread and vaccine escape. Novel approaches to control colonization either through vaccination or through improvements in the quality of immune reconstitution are required.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 09/2012; · 9.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seasonal influenza has been associated with greater morbidity and mortality in AIDS patients. Highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has led to some reduction in influenza-related complications but the nature of naturally-acquired T-cell immunity to influenza virus in an African setting, and how this changes with immune reconstitution following HAART is unknown. We measured influenza-specific CD4(+) T-cell immunity in unimmunized HIV-infected Malawian adults and then investigated immune reconstitution following HAART. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Malawian adults. CFSE proliferation and CD154 expression flow cytometry-based assays were used to measure influenza-specific CD4(+) T-cell immunity. We found lower naturally-acquired proliferative influenza-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses in AIDS patients that was also present in asymptomatic HIV-infected adults with relatively high CD4 counts (>350 cells/µl). Influenza-specific CD4(+) T-cell immune reconstitution in HIV-infected patients on HAART for 12 months was poor despite a marked reduction in viral load and an increase in CD4 count. This poor immune reconstitution was characterised by a low influenza-specific proliferative CD4(+) T-cell response and reduced proportions of CD154-expressing influenza-specific CD4(+) T-cells in peripheral blood. Our data suggest that asymptomatic HIV-infected adults may also be at risk of influenza-related complications and that HAART alone may not circumvent this risk in AIDS patients. This study highlights the need to identify possible interventions early in HIV infection to reduce the risk of influenza and to intensify influenza surveillance in these susceptible African populations.
    PLoS ONE 06/2012; 7(6):e38628. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Much of the developing world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, has high levels of morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases. The greatest risk of invasive disease is in the young, the malnourished and HIV-infected individuals. In many regions in Africa these vulnerable groups and the wider general population are under constant immune pressure from a range of environmental factors, under-nutrition and multiple concurrent infections from birth through to adulthood. Intermittent microbial exposure during childhood is required for the generation of naturally acquired immunity capable of protection against a range of infectious diseases in adult life. However, in the context of a resource-poor setting, the heavy burden of malarial, diarrhoeal and respiratory infections in childhood may subvert or suppress immune responses rather than protect, resulting in sub-optimal immunity. This review will explore how poor maternal health, HIV exposure, socio-economic and seasonal factors conspire to weaken childhood immune defences to disease and discuss the hypothesis that recurrent infections may drive immune dysregulation, leading to relative immune senescence and premature immunological aging.
    Immunology 10/2011; 135(2):125-32. · 3.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected African adults. CD4 T cell depletion may partially explain this high disease burden but those with relatively preserved T cell numbers are still at increased risk of IPD. This study evaluated the extent of pneumococcal-specific T cell memory dysfunction in asymptomatic HIV infection early on in the evolution of the disease. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from asymptomatic HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Malawian adults and stained to characterize the underlying degree of CD4 T cell immune activation, senescence and regulation. Pneumococcal-specific T cell proliferation, IFN-γ, IL-17 production and CD154 expression was assessed using flow cytometry and ELISpot. We find that in asymptomatic HIV-infected Malawian adults, there is considerable immune disruption with an increase in activated and senescent CD4+CD38+PD-1+ and CD4+CD25(high)Foxp3+ Treg cells. In the context of high pneumococcal exposure and therefore immune stimulation, show a failure in pneumococcal-specific memory T cell proliferation, skewing of T cell cytokine production with preservation of interleukin-17 but decreased interferon-gamma responses, and failure of activated T cells to express the co-stimulatory molecule CD154. Asymptomatic HIV-infected Malawian adults show early signs of pneumococcal- specific immune dysregulation with a shift in the balance of CD4 memory, T helper 17 cells and Treg. Together these data offer a mechanistic understanding of how antigen-specific T cell dysfunction occurs prior to T cell depletion and may explain the early susceptibility to IPD in those with relatively preserved CD4 T cell numbers.
    PLoS ONE 09/2011; 6(9):e25610. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-infected adults are at an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections. HIV infection impairs systemic acquired immunity, but there is limited information in humans on HIV-related cell-mediated immune defects in the lung. To investigate antigen-specific CD4(+) T cell responses to influenza virus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and peripheral blood between HIV-infected individuals and HIV-uninfected Malawian adults. We obtained BAL fluid and blood from HIV-infected individuals (n=21) and HIV-uninfected adults (n=24). We determined the proportion of T cell subsets including naive, memory and regulatory T cells using flow cytometry, and used intracellular cytokine staining to identify CD4(+) T cells recognising influenza virus-, S pneumoniae- and M tuberculosis-antigens. CD4(+) T cells in BAL were predominantly of effector memory phenotype compared to blood, irrespective of HIV status (p<0.001). There was immune compartmentalisation with a higher frequency of antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells against influenza virus, S pneumoniae and M tuberculosis retained in BAL compared to blood in HIV-uninfected adults (p<0.001 in each case). Influenza virus- and M tuberculosis-specific CD4(+) T cell responses in BAL were impaired in HIV-infected individuals: proportions of total antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells and of polyfunctional IFN-γ and TNF-α-secreting cells were lower in HIV-infected individuals than in HIV-uninfected adults (p<0.05 in each case). BAL antigen-specific CD4(+) T cell responses against important viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens are impaired in HIV-infected adults. This might contribute to the susceptibility of HIV-infected adults to lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.
    Thorax 02/2011; 66(5):375-82. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In many developing countries, populations are under considerable pressure from high bacterial exposure on mucosal surfaces. Immune dysregulation in this setting is multifactorial and is driven by a range of environmental factors, undernutrition and coinfections such as measles, malaria and HIV. Disruption or subversion of respiratory-tract and intestinal epithelial barriers leads to increased invasion by mucosal pathogens and a high frequency of life-threatening bacterial disease. It is our opinion that a process of epithelial barrier dysfunction and immune dysregulation at these mucosal surfaces leads to the much higher rates of pneumonia, meningitis and severe sepsis seen in resource-limited countries.
    Trends in Microbiology 11/2010; 18(11):487-93. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 14-19, 2010 • New Orleans; 05/2010
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    ABSTRACT: Professional phagocytes ingest particulate material to fulfil a diverse array of functions in a multicellular organism. The ancestral function of phagosomes is digestion; however, through evolution this degradative capacity has become pivotal to the adaptive immune response by processing antigens to be presented to lymphocytes. Moreover, phagocytes have also acquired an active role in microbial killing. This Innovation article describes new assays that probe the biological activities which occur within phagosomes. These assays provide functional insights into how the phagosome fulfils its diverse roles in homeostasis and in innate and adaptive immune responses.
    Nature Reviews Immunology 09/2009; 9(8):594-600. · 33.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The importance of T cells in the generation of antigen-specific B-cell immunity has been extensively described, but the role B cells play in shaping T-cell memory is uncertain. In healthy controls, exposure to Neisseria meningitidis in the upper respiratory tract is associated with the generation of memory T cells in the mucosal and systemic compartments. However, we demonstrate that in B cell-deficient subjects with X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA), naturally acquired T-cell memory responses to meningococcal antigens are reduced compared with healthy control patients. This difference is not found in T-cell memory to an obligate respiratory pathogen, influenza virus. Accordingly, we show that meningococcal antigens up-regulate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, CD40, CD86/80 expression on mucosal and systemic associated B cells and that antigen presentation stimulates T-cell proliferation. A similar reduction in N meningitidis but not influenza antigen-specific T-cell memory was observed in subjects with X-linked hyper IgM syndrome (X-HIM), implicating the interaction of CD40-CD40L in this process. Together, these data implicate B cells in the induction and maintenance of T-cell memory to mucosal colonizing bacteria such as N meningitidis and highlight the importance of B cells beyond antibody production but as a target for immune reconstitution.
    Blood 03/2009; 113(18):4206-12. · 9.78 Impact Factor
  • BSI; 12/2008

Publication Stats

102 Citations
99.23 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2014
    • Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme
      Kapeni, Southern Region, Malawi
  • 2011–2012
    • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
      • Respiratory Infection Laboratory
      Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia
    • University of Bristol
      • School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
      Bristol, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Cornell University
      • College of Veterinary Medicine
      Ithaca, NY, United States