[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Iron is a key pathogenic determinant of many infectious diseases. Hepcidin, the hormone responsible for governing systemic iron homeostasis, is widely hypothesized to represent a key component of nutritional immunity through regulating the accessibility of iron to invading microorganisms during infection. However, the deployment of hepcidin in human bacterial infections remains poorly characterized. Typhoid fever is a globally significant, human-restricted bacterial infection, but understanding of its pathogenesis, especially during the critical early phases, likewise is poorly understood. Here, we investigate alterations in hepcidin and iron/inflammatory indices following experimental human typhoid challenge.
Fifty study participants were challenged with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and monitored for evidence of typhoid fever. Serum hepcidin, ferritin, serum iron parameters, C-reactive protein (CRP), and plasma IL-6 and TNF-alpha concentrations were measured during the 14 days following challenge. We found that hepcidin concentrations were markedly higher during acute typhoid infection than at baseline. Hepcidin elevations mirrored the kinetics of fever, and were accompanied by profound hypoferremia, increased CRP and ferritin, despite only modest elevations in IL-6 and TNF-alpha in some individuals. During inflammation, the extent of hepcidin upregulation associated with the degree of hypoferremia.
We demonstrate that strong hepcidin upregulation and hypoferremia, coincident with fever and systemic inflammation, are hallmarks of the early innate response to acute typhoid infection. We hypothesize that hepcidin-mediated iron redistribution into macrophages may contribute to S. Typhi pathogenesis by increasing iron availability for macrophage-tropic bacteria, and that targeting macrophage iron retention may represent a strategy for limiting infections with macrophage-tropic pathogens such as S. Typhi.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following the introduction of effective protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccines against capsular group C meningococcal disease in Europe, meningococci of capsular group B remain a major cause of death and can result in debilitating sequelae. The outer membrane proteins PorA and FetA have previously been shown to induce bactericidal antibodies in humans. Despite considerable antigenic variation among PorA and FetA OMPs in meningococci, systematic molecular epidemiological studies revealed this variation is highly structured so that a limited repertoire of antigenic types is congruent with the hyperinvasive meningococcal lineages that have caused most of the meningococcal disease in Europe in recent decades. Here we describe the development of a prototype vaccine against capsular group B meningococcal infection based on a N. meningitidis isolate genetically engineered to have constitutive expression of the outer membrane protein FetA. Deoxycholate outer membrane vesicles (dOMVs) extracted from cells cultivated in modified Frantz medium contained 21.8% PorA protein, 7.7% FetA protein and 0.03 μg LPS per μg protein (3%). The antibody response to the vaccine was tested in three mouse strains and the toxicological profile of the vaccine was tested in New Zealand white rabbits. Administration of the vaccine, MenPF-1, when given by intramuscular injection on 4 occasions over a 9 week period, was well tolerated in rabbits up to 50 μg/dose, with no evidence of systemic toxicity. These data indicated that the MenPF-1 vaccine had a toxicological profile suitable for testing in a phase I clinical trial.
PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0134353. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134353 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Admission of infants to hospital with bronchiolitis consumes considerable healthcare resources each winter. We report an analysis of hospital admissions in England over five decades.
Data were analysed from the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE, 1968-1985), Hospital Episode Statistics (HES, 1989-2011), Oxford Record Linkage Study (ORLS, 1963-2011) and Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet, 2003-2012). Cases were identified using International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes in discharge records. Bronchiolitis was given a separate code in ICD9 (used in England from 1979). Geographical variation was analysed using Local Authority area boundaries. Maternal and perinatal risk factors associated with bronchiolitis and subsequent admissions for asthma were analysed using record-linkage.
All-England HIPE and HES data recorded 468 138 episodes of admission for bronchiolitis in infants aged <1 year between 1979 and 2011. In 2011 the estimated annual hospital admission rate was 46.1 (95% CI 45.6 to 46.6) per 1000 infants aged <1 year. Between 2004 and 2011 the rates rose by an average of 1.8% per year in the all-England HES data, whereas admission rates to paediatric intensive care changed little (1.3 to 1.6 per 1000 infants aged <1 year). A fivefold geographical variation in hospital admission rates was observed. Young maternal age, low social class, low birth weight and maternal smoking were among factors associated with an increased risk of hospital admission with bronchiolitis.
Hospital admissions for infants with bronchiolitis have increased substantially in recent years. However, cases requiring intensive care have changed little since 2004.
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Archives of Disease in Childhood 09/2015; DOI:10.1136/archdischild-2015-308723 · 2.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis still leads to deaths and severe disability in children, adolescents and adults. Six different capsular groups of N. meningitidis cause invasive meningococcal disease in the form of meningitis and septicaemia in humans. Although conjugate meningococcal vaccines have been developed to provide protection against four of the capsular groups causing most diseases in humans, vaccines against capsular group B, which causes 85% of cases in Australia and the United Kingdom, have only recently been developed. A capsular group B meningococcal vaccine - 4CMenB (Bexsero) - has recently been licensed in the European Union, Canada and Australia. In Australia, a submission for inclusion of 4CMenB in the funded national immunization programme has recently been rejected. The vaccine will now be introduced into the national immunization programme in the United Kingdom following negotiation of a cost-effective price. With the current low incidence of invasive meningococcal disease in many regions, cost-effectiveness of a new capsular group B meningococcal vaccine is borderline in both the United Kingdom and Australia. Cost-effectiveness of an infant programme is determined largely by the direct protection of those vaccinated and is driven by the higher rate of disease in this age group. However, for an adolescent programme to be cost-effective, it must provide both long-term protection against both disease and carriage. The potential of vaccination to reduce the rate of severe invasive disease is a real possibility. A dual approach using both an infant and adolescent immunization programme to provide direct protection to those age groups at highest risk of meningococcal disease and to optimize the potential herd immunity effects is likely to be the most effective means of reducing invasive meningococcal disease. This commentary aims to describe the known disease burden and consequences of meningococcal disease, and the development and potential effectiveness of new capsular group B meningococcal vaccines.
International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare 06/2015; DOI:10.1097/XEB.0000000000000048
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 1 narcolepsy is caused by deficiency of hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin. An autoimmune basis is suspected, but no specific antibodies, either causative or as biomarkers, have been identified. However, the AS03 adjuvanted split virion H1N1 (H1N1-AS03) vaccine, created to protect against the 2009 Pandemic, has been implicated as a trigger of narcolepsy particularly in children. Sera and CSFs from 13 H1N1-AS03-vaccinated patients (12 children, 1 young adult) with type 1 narcolepsy were tested for autoantibodies to known neuronal antigens including the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and contactin-associated protein 2 (CASPR2), both associated with encephalopathies that include disordered sleep, to rodent brain tissue including the lateral hypothalamus, and to live hippocampal neurons in culture. When sufficient sample was available, CSF levels of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) were measured. Sera from 44 H1N1-ASO3-vaccinated children without narcolepsy were also examined. None of these patients' CSFs or sera was positive for NMDAR or CASPR2 antibodies or binding to neurons; 4/13 sera bound to orexin-neurons in rat brain tissue, but also to other neurons. MCH levels were a marginally raised (n = 8; p = 0.054) in orexin-deficient narcolepsy patients compared with orexin-normal children (n = 6). In the 44 H1N1-AS03-vaccinated healthy children, there was no rise in total IgG levels or in CASPR2 or NMDAR antibodies three weeks following vaccination. In conclusion, there were no narcolepsy-specific autoantibodies identified in type 1 narcolepsy sera or CSFs, and no evidence for a general increase in immune reactivity following H1N1-AS03 vaccination in the healthy children. Antibodies to other neuronal specific membrane targets, with their potential for directing use of immunotherapies, are still an important goal for future research.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0129555. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129555 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
This study will develop the first human challenge model of paratyphoid infection which may then be taken forward to evaluate paratyphoid vaccine candidates. Salmonella Paratyphi A is believed to cause a quarter of the estimated 20 million cases of enteric fever annually. Epidemiological evidence also suggests that an increasing proportion of the enteric fever burden is attributable to S. Paratyphi infection meriting further attention and interest in vaccine development. Assessment of paratyphoid vaccine efficacy in preclinical studies is complicated by the lack of a small animal model and the human-restricted nature of the infection. The use of experimental human infection in healthy volunteers provides an opportunity to address these problems in a cost-effective manner.
Methods and analysis:
Volunteers will ingest virulent S. Paratyphi A bacteria (NVGH308 strain) with a bicarbonate buffer solution to establish the infectious dose resulting in an 'attack rate' of 60-75%. Using an a priori decision-making algorithm, the challenge dose will be escalated or de-escalated to achieve the target attack rate, with the aim of reaching the study end point while exposing as few individuals as possible to infection. The attack rate will be determined by the proportion of paratyphoid infection in groups of 20 healthy adult volunteers, with infection being defined by one or more positive blood cultures (microbiological end point) and/or fever, defined as an oral temperature exceeding 38 °C sustained for at least 12 h (clinical end point); 20-80 participants will be required. Challenge participants will start a 2-week course of an oral antibiotic on diagnosis of infection, or after 14 days follow-up.
Ethics and dissemination:
The strict eligibility criterion aims to minimise risk to participants and their close contacts. Ethical approval has been obtained. The results will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at international congresses.
Trial registration number:
BMJ Open 06/2015; 5(6):e007481. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007481 · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new human oral challenge model with wild-type Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi) was recently developed. In this model, ingestion of 104 CFU of Salmonella resulted in 65% of subjects developing typhoid fever (referred here as typhoid diagnosis -TD-) 5-10 days post-challenge. TD criteria included meeting clinical (oral temperature ≥38°C for ≥12h) and/or microbiological (S. Typhi bacteremia) endpoints. One of the first lines of defense against pathogens are the cells of the innate immune system (e.g., monocytes, dendritic cells -DCs-). Various changes in circulating monocytes and DCs have been described in the murine S. Typhimurium model; however, whether similar changes are present in humans remains to be explored. To address these questions, a subset of volunteers (5 TD and 3 who did not develop typhoid despite oral challenge -NoTD-) were evaluated for changes in circulating monocytes and DCs. Expression of CD38 and CD40 were upregulated in monocytes and DCs in TD volunteers during the disease days (TD-0h to TD-96h). Moreover, integrin α4β7, a gut homing molecule, was upregulated on monocytes but not DCs. CD21 upregulation was only identified in DCs. These changes were not observed among NoTD volunteers despite the same oral challenge. Moreover, monocytes and DCs from NoTD volunteers showed increased binding to S. Typhi one day after challenge. These monocytes showed phosphorylation of p38MAPK, NFkB and Erk1/2 upon stimulation with S. Typhi-LPS-QDot micelles. In contrast, monocytes from TD volunteers showed only a moderate increase in S. Typhi binding 48h and 96h post-TD, and only Erk1/2 phosphorylation. This is the first study to describe different activation and migration profiles, as well as differential signaling patterns, in monocytes and DCs which relate directly to the clinical outcome following oral challenge with wild type S. Typhi.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Next-generation sequencing was used to investigate the B cell receptor heavy chain transcript repertoire of different B cell subsets (naïve, marginal zone, IgM memory and IgG memory) at baseline, and of plasma cells 7 days following administration of serogroup ACWY meningococcal polysaccharide and protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccines. Baseline B cell subsets could be distinguished from each other using a small number of repertoire properties (clonality, mutation from germ-line and complementarity-determining region 3 length) that were conserved between individuals. However, analyzing the complementarity-determining region 3 amino acid sequence (which is particularly important for antigen binding) of the baseline subsets showed few sequences shared between individuals. In contrast, day 7 plasma cells demonstrated nearly tenfold greater sequence sharing between individuals than the baseline subsets, consistent with the plasma cells being induced by the vaccine antigen, and sharing specificity for a more limited range of epitopes. By annotating plasma cell sequences based on IgG subclass usage and mutation, and also comparing them to the sequences of the baseline cell subsets, we were able to identify different signatures after the polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines. Plasma cells produced after conjugate vaccination were predominantly IgG1, and most related to IgG memory cells. In contrast, after polysaccharide vaccination, the plasma cells were predominantly IgG2, less mutated, and were equally likely to be related to marginal zone, IgM memory or IgG memory cells. High-throughput B cell repertoire sequencing thus provides a unique insight into patterns of B cell activation not possible from more conventional measures of immunogenicity.Immunology and Cell Biology accepted article preview online, 15 May 2015. doi:10.1038/icb.2015.57.
Immunology and Cell Biology 05/2015; DOI:10.1038/icb.2015.57 · 4.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We determine the effect of defects induced by ion bombardment on the Raman spectrum of single-layer molybdenum disulfide. The evolution of both the linewidths and frequency shifts of the first-order Raman bands with the density of defects is explained with a phonon confinement model, using density functional theory to calculate the phonon dispersion curves. We identify several defect-induced Raman scattering peaks arising from zone-edge phonon modes. Among these, the most prominent is the LA(M) peak at ∼227cm−1 and its intensity, relative to the one of first-order Raman bands, is found to be proportional to the density of defects. These results provide a practical route to quantify defects in single-layer MoS2 using Raman spectroscopy and highlight an analogy between the LA(M) peak in MoS2 and the D peak in graphene.
Physical Review B 05/2015; 91(19). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevB.91.195411 · 3.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi), the causative agent of typhoid fever, causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Currently available vaccines are moderately efficacious, and identification of immunological responses associated with protection or disease will facilitate the development of improved vaccines. We investigated S. Typhi-specific modulation of activation and homing potential of circulating regulatory T cells (Treg) by flow and mass cytometry using specimens obtained from a human challenge study. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were obtained from volunteers pre- and at multiple time-points post-challenge with wild-type S. Typhi. We identified differing patterns of S. Typhi-specific modulation of the homing potential of circulating Treg between volunteers diagnosed with typhoid (TD) and those who were not (No TD). TD volunteers demonstrated up-regulation of the gut homing molecule integrin α4ß7 pre-challenge, followed by a significant down-regulation post-challenge consistent with Treg homing to the gut. Additionally, S. Typhi-specific Treg from TD volunteers exhibited up-regulation of activation molecules post-challenge (e.g., HLA-DR, LFA-1). We further demonstrate that depletion of Treg results in increased S. Typhi-specific cytokine production by CD8+ TEM in vitro. These results suggest that the tissue distribution of activated Treg, their characteristics and activation status may play a pivotal role in typhoid fever, possibly through suppression of S. Typhi-specific effector T cell responses. These studies provide important novel insights into the regulation of immune responses that are likely to be critical in protection against typhoid and other enteric infectious diseases.