14 research outputs found

    The masked demos: Associational anonymity and democratic practice

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    The increased use of anonymous digital platforms raises substantive concerns about accountability in digital spaces. However, contemporary evaluations of anonymity focus too narrowly on its protective function: its ability to protect a diversity of speakers and ideas. Drawing on two examples of anonymous political engagements – Publius’s writing of the Federalist Papers and college students’ use of the social media platform Yik Yak – we develop an account of anonymity’s associational function: the processes by which people generate and negotiate collective identities, discussions, and actions in wider publics. As we argue, anonymity’s associational function can (1) generate conditions under which individuals develop collective interests and identities to foster collective action, and (2) enable novel interactions between these individuals and communities and the larger publics of which they are part. We conclude with a discussion of how attention to associational anonymity can contribute to a more nuanced account of democracy in practice

    Requirement of the CXXC Motif of Novel Francisella Infectivity Potentiator Protein B FipB, and FipA in Virulence of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis

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    The lipoprotein encoded by the Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis locus FTT1103 is essential for virulence; an FTT1103 deletion mutant is defective in uptake and intracellular survival, and mice survive high dose challenges of greater than 108 bacteria. This protein has two conserved domains; one is found in a class of virulence proteins called macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) proteins, and the other in oxidoreductase Disulfide Bond formation protein A (DsbA)-related proteins. We have designated the protein encoded by FTT1103 as FipB for Francisella infectivity potentiator protein B. The locus FTT1102 (fipA), which is upstream of fipB, also has similarity to same conserved Mip domain. Deletion and site-specific mutants of fipA and fipB were constructed in the Schu S4 strain, and characterized with respect to intracellular replication and in vivo virulence. A nonpolar fipA mutant demonstrated reduced survival in host cells, but was only slightly attenuated in vivo. Although FipB protein was present in a fipA mutant, the abundance of the three isoforms of FipB was altered, suggesting that FipA has a role in post-translational modification of FipB. Similar to many DsbA homologues, FipB contains a cysteine-any amino acid-any amino acid-cysteine (CXXC) motif. This motif was found to be important for FipB's role in virulence; a deletion mutant complemented with a gene encoding a FipB protein in which the first cysteine was changed to an alanine residue (AXXC) failed to restore intracellular survival or in vivo virulence. Complementation with a gene that encoded a CXXA containing FipB protein was significantly defective in intracellular growth; however, only slightly attenuated in vivo

    Interrelationship between Dendritic Cell Trafficking and Francisella tularensis Dissemination following Airway Infection

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    Francisella tularensis, the etiological agent of the inhalation tularemia, multiplies in a variety of cultured mammalian cells. Nevertheless, evidence for its in vivo intracellular residence is less conclusive. Dendritic cells (DC) that are adapted for engulfing bacteria and migration towards lymphatic organs could serve as potential targets for bacterial residence and trafficking. Here, we focus on the in vivo interactions of F. tularensis with DC following airway infection of mice. Lethal airway infection of mice with the live vaccine strain (LVS) results in trafficking of a CD11bhigh/CD11cmed/autofluorescencelow DC subset from the respiratory tract to the draining mediastinal lymph node (MdLN). Simultaneously, a rapid, massive bacterial colonization of the MdLN occurs, characterized by large bacterial foci formation. Analysis of bacteria in the MdLN revealed a major population of extracellular bacteria, which co-exists with a substantial fraction of intracellular bacteria. The intracellular bacteria are viable and reside in cells sorted for DC marker expression. Moreover, in vivo vital staining experiments indicate that most of these intracellular bacteria (∼75%) reside in cells that have migrated from the airways to the MdLN after infection. The correlation between DC and bacteria accumulation in the MdLN was further demonstrated by manipulating DC migration to the MdLN through two independent pathways. Impairment of DC migration to the MdLN, either by a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist (FTY720) or by the D prostanoid receptor 1 agonist (BW245C), resulted in reduced bacterial colonization of MdLN. Moreover, BW245C treatment delayed the onset of morbidity and the time to death of the infected mice. Taken together, these results suggest that DC can serve as an inhabitation niche for F. tularensis in the early stages of infection, and that DC trafficking plays a role in pathogen dissemination. This underscores the therapeutic potential of DC migration impairing drugs in tularemia treatment

    Host-Adaptation of Francisella tularensis Alters the Bacterium's Surface-Carbohydrates to Hinder Effectors of Innate and Adaptive Immunity

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    The gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis survives in arthropods, fresh water amoeba, and mammals with both intracellular and extracellular phases and could reasonably be expected to express distinct phenotypes in these environments. The presence of a capsule on this bacterium has been controversial with some groups finding such a structure while other groups report that no capsule could be identified. Previously we reported in vitro culture conditions for this bacterium which, in contrast to typical methods, yielded a bacterial phenotype that mimics that of the bacterium's mammalian, extracellular phase.SDS-PAGE and carbohydrate analysis of differentially-cultivated F. tularensis LVS revealed that bacteria displaying the host-adapted phenotype produce both longer polymers of LPS O-antigen (OAg) and additional HMW carbohydrates/glycoproteins that are reduced/absent in non-host-adapted bacteria. Analysis of wildtype and OAg-mutant bacteria indicated that the induced changes in surface carbohydrates involved both OAg and non-OAg species. To assess the impact of these HMW carbohydrates on the access of outer membrane constituents to antibody we used differentially-cultivated bacteria in vitro to immunoprecipitate antibodies directed against outer membrane moieties. We observed that the surface-carbohydrates induced during host-adaptation shield many outer membrane antigens from binding by antibody. Similar assays with normal mouse serum indicate that the induced HMW carbohydrates also impede complement deposition. Using an in vitro macrophage infection assay, we find that the bacterial HMW carbohydrate impedes TLR2-dependent, pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages. Lastly we show that upon host-adaptation, the human-virulent strain, F. tularensis SchuS4 also induces capsule production with the effect of reducing macrophage-activation and accelerating tularemia pathogenesis in mice.F. tularensis undergoes host-adaptation which includes production of multiple capsular materials. These capsules impede recognition of bacterial outer membrane constituents by antibody, complement, and Toll-Like Receptor 2. These changes in the host-pathogen interface have profound implications for pathogenesis and vaccine development

    IKKβ in Myeloid Cells Controls the Host Response to Lethal and Sublethal <em>Francisella tularensis</em> LVS Infection

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    <div><h3>Background</h3><p>The NF-κB activating kinases, IKKα and IKKβ, are key regulators of inflammation and immunity in response to infection by a variety of pathogens. Both IKKα and IKKβ have been reported to modulate either pro- or anti- inflammatory programs, which may be specific to the infectious organism or the target tissue. Here, we analyzed the requirements for the IKKs in myeloid cells <em>in vivo</em> in response to <em>Francisella tularensis</em> Live Vaccine Strain (<em>Ft.</em> LVS) infection.</p> <h3>Methods and Principal Findings</h3><p>In contrast to prior reports in which conditional deletion of IKKβ in the myeloid lineage promoted survival and conferred resistance to an <em>in vivo</em> group B streptococcus infection, we show that mice with a comparable conditional deletion (IKKβ cKO) succumb more rapidly to lethal <em>Ft.</em> LVS infection and are unable to control bacterial growth at sublethal doses. Flow cytometry analysis of hepatic non-parenchymal cells from infected mice reveals that IKKβ inhibits M1 classical macrophage activation two days post infection, which has the collateral effect of suppressing IFN-γ<sup>+</sup> CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells. Despite this early enhanced inflammation, IKKβ cKO mice are unable to control infection; and this coincides with a shift toward M2a polarized macrophages. In comparison, we find that myeloid IKKα is dispensable for survival and bacterial control. However, both IKKα and IKKβ have effects on hepatic granuloma development. IKKα cKO mice develop fewer, but well-contained granulomas that accumulate excess necrotic cells after 9 days of infection; while IKKβ cKO mice develop numerous micro-granulomas that are less well contained.</p> <h3>Conclusions</h3><p>Taken together our findings reveal that unlike IKKα, IKKβ has multiple, contrasting roles in this bacterial infection model by acting in an anti-inflammatory capacity at early times towards sublethal <em>Ft.</em> LVS infection; but in spite of this, macrophage IKKβ is also a critical effector for host survival and efficient pathogen clearance.</p> </div
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