[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole-saliva IgA appears like an attractive noninvasive readout for intestinal immune induction after enteric infection or vaccination, but has failed to show consistent correlation with established invasive markers and IgA in feces or intestinal lavage. For reference, we measured antibodies in samples from 30 healthy volunteers who were orally infected with wild-type enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. The response against these bacteria in serum, lavage, and lymphocyte supernatants (antibody-in-lymphocyte-supernatant, ALS) was compared with that in targeted parotid and sublingual/submandibular secretions. Strong correlation occurred between IgA antibody levels against the challenge bacteria in sublingual/submandibular secretions and in lavage (r=0.69, P<0.0001) and ALS (r=0.70, P<0.0001). In sublingual/submandibular secretions, 93% responded with more than a twofold increase in IgA antibodies against the challenge strain, whereas the corresponding response in parotid secretions was only 67% (P=0.039). With >twofold ALS as a reference, the sensitivity of a >twofold response for IgA in sublingual/submandibular secretion was 96%, whereas it was only 67% in the parotid fluid. To exclude that flow rate variations influenced the results, we used albumin as a marker. Our data suggested that IgA in sublingual/submandibular secretions, rather than whole saliva with its variable content of parotid fluid, is a preferential noninvasive proxy for intestinal immune induction.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 28 October 2015; doi:10.1038/mi.2015.107.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fulminant meningococcal sepsis is characterized by a massive growth of bacteria in the circulation, regarded as the primary inflammatory site, with no specific solid organ focus. Here we aimed to study the local inflammatory response in organs using a porcine model of fulminant meningococcal septic shock challenged with exponentially increasing doses of heat inactivated Neisseria meningitidis. The results were compared with those obtained in organs post mortem from three patients with lethal meningococcal septic shock. Nine patients with lethal pneumococcal disease and 14 patients with sudden infant death syndrome served as controls. Frozen tissue were thawed, homogenized and prepared for quantification of bacterial DNA by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and key inflammatory mediators were measured by ELISA in the pig material and by multiplex in the human material. In addition, gene expression assayed by Affymetrix gene expression profiling was performed in the pig study. The porcine model revealed a major influx of N. meningitidis in lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys accompanied with major production of cardinal inflammatory mediators including tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-8, far exceeding the amount detected in blood. Genes encoding for these mediators revealed a similar profile. By comparing the wild-type with a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) deficient meningococcal strain, we documented that LPS was the dominant group of molecules inducing organ inflammation and was required for IL-8 production. IL-10 production was predominantly stimulated by non-LPS molecules. The massive organ inflammation in the porcine model was present in the three patients dying of meningococcal shock and differed markedly from the patients with lethal pneumococcal infections and sudden infant death syndrome. In conclusion, in meningococcal sepsis, a massive local inflammatory response occurs in specific organs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The severity of systemic meningococcal disease (SMD) correlates to plasma concentrations of LPS and IL-10, with the highest levels detected in non-survivors. Here, plasma from patients with SMD containing high and low concentrations of LPS were incubated with human monocytes before and after immunodepletion of IL-10 to study the effect of IL-10 on gene expression and cytokine release. Patient plasma containing IL-10 induced the expression of 1657 genes in human monocytes when compared with gene expression induced by low LPS plasma. After immunodepletion of IL-10, this number increased to 2260. By directly comparing the gene expression profiles induced before and after immunodepletion of IL-10, the presence of IL-10 differentially regulated 373 genes. Functional classes associated with these genes were cellular function and maintenance, cellular development, cellular growth and proliferation, cell-cell signaling and interaction and cellular movement. Immunodepletion of IL-10 resulted in down-regulation of genes of the leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor family, and up-regulation of genes of type I IFN signaling, TLR signaling, the inflammasomes, coagulation and fibrinolysis. Finally, immunodepletion of IL-10 increased the protein levels of IL-1β, IL-8, TNF-α, MIP-1α and MIP-1β. Data suggest that IL-10 in meningococcal sepsis plasma regulates a variety of genes and signaling pathways, likely leading to an overall inhibitory effect on the inflammatory response induced in meningococcal sepsis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunoglobulin A (IgA) comprises two IgA subclasses, IgA1 and IgA2, whose distribution has been shown by immunohistochemistry to be different in various body compartments. In comparison with systemic immune compartments, we investigated the IgA switch profiles at the molecular level in salivary and lacrimal glands, nasal mucosa, and proximal and distal gut mucosa. Direct switching from IgM to IgA1 or IgA2 predominated in all immune compartments analyzed. Similar composition of the Sμ-Sα1 and Sμ-Sα2 junctions was observed, including microhomology usage, which suggested that there is no major difference in the actual recombination mechanism utilized during IgA subclass switching. The proportion of IgA1/IgA2 switch recombination events largely paralleled the previously published immunohistochemical representation of IgA1(+) and IgA2(+) plasma cells, implying that the local subclass distribution generally reflects precommitted memory/effector B cells that have undergone IgA subclass switching before extravasation at the effector site. The extremely low or undetectable levels of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and Iα-Cμ circle transcripts in intestinal lamina propria samples as compared with Peyer's patches suggest that the cellular IgA subclass distribution outside of organized gut-associated lymphoid tissue is only to a minor extent, if at all, influenced by in situ switching.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 25 September 2013; doi:10.1038/mi.2013.68.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis causes fulminant meningococcal sepsis with a massive activation of the coagulation and complement cascades. Bacterial cell envelope molecules from N. meningitidis, particularly lipopolysaccharide (LPS), induce tissue factor (TF) expression. In meningococcal sepsis, TF can be detected on circulating monocytes and microparticles (MPs) within the bloodstream. During infection, Nm activates C5 and C5a, which also is able to induce TF. We evaluated the effect of eculizumab, a C5-blocking monoclonal antibodies (mAb), on cell- and MP-associated TF. Using a lepirudin-anticoagulated whole blood model, we activated the coagulation and complement cascades by N. meningitidis, and investigated the interaction between the cascade systems with special focus on cell-associated TF-expression (mRNA and protein) and MP-associated TF-dependent thrombin and fibrin generation in platelet-free plasma. We also examined the ability of TF-positive MPs to support clot formation in whole blood. In addition, the effect of corn trypsin inhibitor and time-dependent changes on MP-associated functional TF activity was examined. Inhibition of C5 reduced cell-associated TF expression at both gene and protein level, and reduced MP-associated TF-dependent thrombin and fibrin generation in platelet-poor plasma, MP-induced TF-dependent clot formation in whole blood, implying that the complement and coagulation cascades are interplayers in N. meningitidis-mediated activation of these cascades.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The intestinal immune system has generated two arms of adaptive anti-inflammatory defense which normally preserve the epithelial barrier: (i) immune exclusion performed by secretory IgA (SIgA) (and SIgM) antibodies to control surface colonization of micro-organisms and dampen penetration of potentially harmful antigens; and (ii) suppressive mechanisms to avoid hypersensitivity to innocuous antigens, particularly food proteins and the commensal microbiota. The latter phenomenon ('oral tolerance') largely depends on regulatory T (Treg) cells induced in mesenteric lymph nodes to which mucosal dendritic cells carry exogenous antigens and become conditioned for stimulation of Treg cells. Polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR/SC) knock-out mice that lack SIgA and SIgM show decreased epithelial barrier function and increased uptake of antigens from food and commensal bacteria. They therefore have a hyper-reactive immune system which is counteracted by enhanced intestinal tolerance induction as a homeostatic back-up mechanism.
Diet, Immunity and Inflammation, 09/2013: pages 34-80; , ISBN: 9780857090379
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many variables influence the development of secretory immunity and oral tolerance two immunological mechanisms that are of paramount importance for the intestinal barrier function and immune homeostasis. Increased epithelial permeability is likely a significant primary or secondary event in the pathogenesis of several intestinal disorders, including adverse immune reactions to food proteins and commensal bacteria. This barrier variable is determined by the developmental stage (e.g. preterm vs. term newborn, infant vs. adult), concurrent infections, and the shielding effect of secretory lgA (SlgA) antibodies provided by breast milk or the individual's intestinal immune system. The clinical consequences will depend on how fast 'closure' of the epithelial barrier can be attained or reestablished, which is influenced both by the individual's age and by successful mounting of adaptive SlgA responses as well as generation of oral tolerance (mucosally induced hyporesponsiveness) against innocuous antigens from the diet and components of the normal indigenous microbiota. Generation of SlgA is the best defined effector mechanism of the intestinal immune system; its enhancement and homeostatic immune regulation induced by commensal bacteria is therefore of considerable clinical interest. Also, the intestinal induction of regulatory T cells (that are of central importance in oral tolerance) depends on an adequate development of a complex gut microbiota. Importantly, the feeding and treatment regimen (e.g. antibiotics) to which the infant is subjected, and apparently also the mode of delivery, may perturb the balance of the gut bacteria and thereby jeopardize the homeostasis of the developing mucosal immune system. Copyright (c) 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: The plasma level of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) is quantitatively associated with activation of the coagulation system, inhibition of fibrinolysis and the nature of the clinical presentation and outcome in patients with meningococcal disease. Tissue factor (TF)-bearing microparticles (MPs) appear to contribute to the pathogenesis of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between MP-associated TF activity and the level of bacterial LPS in plasma from patients with meningococcal septic shock and meningitis.
Materials and methods: MPs isolated from citrated plasmas were assessed for TF-dependent activity with both a plasma-based thrombin generation assay (CAT) and whole blood-based thromboelastometry (ROTEM). The LPS level was measured using a chromogenic Limulus amebocyte lysate assay.
Results: MPs obtained from patients with meningococcal septic shock initiated significantly more efficient and TF-dependent thrombin generation in the CAT assay compared to MPs from patients with meningococcal meningitis. Differences in MP-associated TF activity between the septic shock patients and the meningitis patients were also evident when MPs were added to whole blood using ROTEM. The level of plasma LPS in patients with septic shock (range 2–2,100 EU/mL) was correlated with thrombogram parameters in the CAT assay; lagtime (rs = − 0.84), time to peak (rs = − 0.83), peak (rs = 0.85) and ETP (rs = 0.83).
Conclusions: MPs obtained from patients with meningococcal septic shock displayed more efficient TF-dependent thrombin generation and clot formation compared to MPs from meningitis patients. MP-associated TF activity was closely associated with plasma LPS levels in the septic shock group.
Thrombosis Research 01/2013; 133(3). DOI:10.1016/j.thromres.2013.12.031 · 2.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is currently a major focus on the role of the gut barrier function in balancing mucosal immune responses. Increased epithelial permeability for exogenous antigens is a crucial primary or secondary event in the pathogenesis of several disorders affecting body surfaces and beyond. The epithelial gate-keeper function is determined by the individual's age (e.g. preterm vs. term infant), diet, genetics, mucus composition, interactions between mast cells, nerves and neuropeptides, concurrent infection, the commensal microbiota and the epithelium-shielding effect of secretory IgA (SIgA) antibodies provided by breast milk or produced in the individual's gut. The integrity of the epithelial barrier furthermore depends on homeostatic regulatory mechanisms, including mucosal induction of regulatory T cells, where commensal microbiota-host interactions apparently play decisive roles. Thus, both extrinsic and intrinsic factors have been identified that may have an impact on the dynamics of the epithelial cell-cell junctions in the gut and thereby increase or reduce paracellular permeability. Experiments have shown that SIgA normally cooperates with innate defence factors to protect the epithelium and reinforce its barrier function. In the absence of SIgA commensal gut bacteria overstimulate innate epithelial immunity at the expense of expression of genes that regulate fat and carbohydrate metabolism, resulting in an epithelial gene signature that correlates with the development of lipid malabsorption. This shows that the intestinal epithelial barrier is a cross-road between defence and nutrition, and that SIgA is essential to keep the balance between these two functions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In meningococcal septic shock, the dominant inducer of inflammation is lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the outer membrane of Neisseria meningitidis, while interleukin-10 (IL-10) is the principal anti-inflammatory cytokine. We have used microarrays and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis to study the global effects of IL-10 on gene expression induced by N. meningitidis, after exposure of human monocytes (n = 5) for 3 h to N. meningitidis (10(6) cells/ml), recombinant human IL-10 (rhIL-10) (25 ng/ml), and N. meningitidis combined with rhIL-10. N. meningitidis and IL-10 differentially expressed 3,579 and 648 genes, respectively. IL-10 downregulated 125 genes which were upregulated by N. meningitidis, including NLRP3, the key molecule of the NLRP3 inflammasome. IL-10 also upregulated 270 genes which were downregulated by N. meningitidis, including members of the leukocyte immunuglobulin-like receptor (LIR) family. Fifty-three genes revealed a synergistically increased expression when N. meningitidis and IL-10 were combined. AIM2 (the principal molecule of the AIM2 inflammasome) was among these genes (fold change [FC], 18.3 versus 7.4 and 9.4 after stimulation by N. meningitidis and IL-10, respectively). We detected reduced concentrations (92% to 40%) of six cytokines (IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], macrophage inflammatory protein alpha [MIP-α], MIP-β) in the presence of IL-10, compared with concentrations with stimulation by N. meningitidis alone. Our data analysis of the effects of IL-10 on gene expression induced by N. meningitidis suggests that high plasma levels of IL-10 in meningococcal septic shock plasma may have a profound effect on a variety of functions and cellular processes in human monocytes, including cell-to-cell signaling, cellular movement, cellular development, antigen presentation, and cell death.
Infection and immunity 09/2012; 80(11):4046-54. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00386-12 · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing clinical interest for measuring microparticle (MP)-associated tissue factor (TF) activity owing to its possible role as a prothrombotic biomarker in a variety of diseases. However, the methods used are to various extents hampered by lack of (pre)analytical standardization as well as limited published documentation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of the Zymuphen MP-TF kit and the calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT) assay in measuring MP-associated TF activity in plasma using a Neisseria meningitidis (Nm)-stimulated whole blood model. In addition, (pre)analytical variables like centrifugation procedures, freezing/thawing and the effect of addition of exogenous phosphatidylserine in plasma were evaluated in the CAT assay. Citrate-anticoagulated blood was stimulated with Nm bacteria for 4 h before platelet-poor plasma (PPP) or platelet-free plasma (PFP) were prepared and assayed with either of the two methods. Nm dose-dependently (10-10 bacteria/ml) induced TF-specific activity, measured as decreased lagtimes, in the CAT assay. The Zymuphen MP-TF kit also detected TF activity, although much higher Nm doses (10 bacteria/ml) were required to achieve measurable levels. Neither freezing/thawing nor the use of PPP vs. PFP influenced the TF activity, measured over a broad range of lagtimes, in the CAT assay. In conclusion, changes in lagtime in the CAT assay reflected levels of MP-associated TF activity in a more sensitive manner than the Zymuphen MP-TF kit did, in our Nm-stimulated whole blood system.
Blood coagulation & fibrinolysis: an international journal in haemostasis and thrombosis 06/2012; 23(6):520-6. DOI:10.1097/MBC.0b013e328354a256 · 1.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Candida albicans is a fungal pathogen, but also a commensal in many individuals. Since detailed molecular studies of children carrying C. albicans are lacking, we longitudinally investigated fecal and tonsillopharyngeal samples from 10 children undergoing treatment for cancer, six children treated for cystic fibrosis (CF), and seven healthy children during the time period of 1999-2008. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed on 62 C. albicans isolates. Only three of the 23 children (13%) were colonized with genetically unrelated strains in the longitudinal follow-up. We identified 32 different diploid sequence types (DSTs), but only one (409) was shared by two siblings. Most often, the fecal strain types were identical or closely related to the tonsillopharyngeal reservoirs. We found no closely related strain types in children who were hospitalized in the same ward or in children attending the same day care center. There was no sign of resistance to fluconazole, caspofungin, amphotericin B or flucytosine over time. This study shows that both children with cancer or CF, and healthy children usually harbor the same C. albicans strain over time. We did not find indications of clonal spread between children in the same environments, except in a pair of siblings.
Medical mycology: official publication of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology 04/2012; 50(6):619-26. DOI:10.3109/13693786.2012.675088 · 2.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Certain antineoplastic drugs inhibit bacterial growth. Whether these drugs also cause genetic changes in bacteria that lead to increased antibiotic resistance is not yet documented. Given the massive and repeated antibiotic treatment most cancer patients undergo, this question is important. We have examined the possible effects of in vitro long-term antineoplastic exposure on antibiotic resistance.
Using the disc diffusion method, two bacterial strains (Escherichia coli, ATCC 25922, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, ATCC 27583) were exposed to methotrexate, fluorouracil, vincristine, doxorubicin and cytarabine during 50 overnight cycles. The bacterial strains were susceptibility-tested to several antibiotics before and after repeated exposure to antineoplastics.
No changes in antibiotic susceptibility were seen in the two bacterial strains after long-term exposure to any of the antineoplastic drugs tested.
Long-term in vitro antineoplastic exposure did not change the antibiotic susceptibility in the E. coli or P. aeruginosa strains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinical symptoms induced by Neisseria meningitidis reflect compartmentalized intravascular and intracranial bacterial growth and inflammation. In this chapter, we describe a classification system for meningococcal disease based on the nature of the clinical symptoms. Meningococci invade the subarachnoid space and cause meningitis in as many as 50-70% of patients. The bacteremic phase is moderate in patients with meningitis and mild systemic meningococcemia but graded high in patients with septic shock. Three landmark studies using this classification system and comprising 862 patients showed that 37-49% developed meningitis without shock, 10-18% shock without meningitis, 7-12% shock and meningitis, and 18-33% had mild meningococcemia without shock or meningitis. N. meningitidis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the principal trigger of the innate immune system via activation of the Toll-like receptor 4-MD2 cell surface receptor complex on myeloid and nonmyeloid human cells. The intracellular signals are conveyed via MyD88-dependent and -independent pathways altering the expression of >4,600 genes in target cells such as monocytes. However, non-LPS molecules contribute to inflammation, but 10-100-fold higher concentrations are required to reach the same responses as induced by LPS. Activation of the complement and coagulation systems is related to the bacterial load in the circulation and contributes to the development of shock, organ dysfunction, thrombus formation, bleeding, and long-term complications in patients. Despite rapid intervention and advances in patient intensive care, why as many as 30% of patients with systemic meningococcal disease develop massive meningococcemia leading to shock and death is still not understood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis causes sepsis with coagulopathy. The present study evaluated the tissue factor (TF)-inducing capacity of bacterial LPS in different presentation forms, i.e. membrane-bound LPS versus purified LPS, and of non-LPS components of N. meningitidis. By using a wild-type N. meningitidis, a mutant N. meningitidis lacking LPS (LPS-deficient N. meningitidis), purified LPS from N. meningitidis and Escherichia coli, we measured TF-expression and TF-activity on human monocytes and microparticles (MPs). The effect of TF-modulators, such as phosphatidylserine (PS), tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) and recombinant IL-10 (rhIL-10) was investigated. In plasmas from meningococcal patients, fibrinopeptide A (FPA), LPS and IL-10 were quantified. Monocytes and MPs exposed to purified LPS or wild-type N. meningitidis had much higher TF-activity than monocytes and MPs exposed to LPS-deficient N. meningitidis (clot formation assay). Incubation with wild-type N. meningitidis, but also LPS-deficient N. meningitidis, resulted in TF-expression on monocytes (flow cytometry, qRT-PCR). Increased cellular TF-activity is associated with coincident surface-exposure of PS and the number of monocytes positive for both PS and TF was significantly higher for monocytes exposed to wild-type N. meningitidis (7.6%) compared with monocytes exposed to LPS-deficient N. meningitidis (1.8%). Treatment with rhIL-10 reduced monocyte- and MP-associated TF-activity, the number of monocytes positive for both TF and PS, and microvesiculation. Patients with meningococcal septicemia had significantly higher levels of LPS, FPA and IL-10 than patients with distinct meningitis. Our results indicate that LPS from N. meningitidis is crucial for inducing TF-activity, but not for monocyte- and MP-associated TF-expression. TF-activity seems to require coincident expression of TF and PS on monocytes, and LPS induces such double-positive monocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe an outbreak of diphtheria in Norway that occurred in 2008 and affected 3 unvaccinated family members. The epidemic caught the public health system off-guard on most levels; the diagnosis was distrusted due to its rarity, no diphtheria anti-toxin was available, and notification procedures were not rigorously followed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The initial interaction of Gram-negative bacteria with erythrocytes and its implications on leukocyte phagocytosis and oxidative burst in human whole blood were examined. Alexa-labeled Escherichia coli, wild-type H44/76 N. meningitidis and the H44/76lpxA lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-deficient mutant were incubated with whole blood using lepirudin as anticoagulant which has no adverse effects on complement. Bacteria free in plasma, bound to erythrocytes or phagocytized by granulocytes and monocytes were quantified using flow cytometry. The effects of the C3 inhibitor compstatin, a C5a receptor antagonist (C5aRa) and a complement receptor 1 (CR1)-blocking antibody (3D9) were examined. Most bacteria (80%) immediately bound to erythrocytes. The binding gradually declined over time, with a parallel increase in phagocytosis. Complement inhibition with compstatin reduced erythrocyte binding and bacterial C3 opsonization. In contrast, the C5aRa efficiently reduced phagocytosis, but did not affect the binding of bacteria to erythrocytes. The anti-CR1 blocking mAb dose-dependently reduced bacterial binding to erythrocytes to nil, with subsequent increased phagocytosis and oxidative burst. LPS had no effect on these processes since similar results were obtained using an LPS-deficient N. meningitidis mutant. In vivo experiments in a pig model of sepsis showed limited binding of bacteria to erythrocytes, consistent with the facts that erythrocyte CR1 receptors are absent in non-primates and that the bacteria were mainly found in the lungs. In conclusion, complement-dependent binding of Gram-negative bacteria to erythrocyte CR1 decreases phagocytosis and oxidative burst by leukocytes in human whole blood.