1,724 research outputs found

    Interaction of the legionnaires' disease bacterium (legionella pneumophila) with human phagocytes. I. L. pneumophila resists killing by polymorphonuclearleukocytes, antibody, and complement

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    We have previously reported that virulent egg yolk-grown Legionella pneumophila, Philadelphia 1 strain, multiplies intracellularly in human blood monocytes. We now report on the interaction between virulent L. pneumophila and human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN), antibody, and complement, in vitro, under antibiotic-free conditions. L. pneumophila in concentrations ranging from 10(3) to 10(6) colony forming units (CFU)/ml are completely resistant to the bactericidal effects of 0-50 percent fresh normal human serum, even in the presence of high concentrations of rabbit or human anti-L. pneumophila antibody. L. pneumophila bacteria fix the third component of complement (C3) to their surfaces, as measured by fluorescence microscopy using rhodamine- conjugated goat anti-human C3 IgG, only when the bacteria are incubated with both specific anti-L. pneumophila antibody and complement. Similarly, L. pneumophila adhere to PMN, as measured by fluorescence microscopy, only in the presence of both specific antibody and complement. Electron microscopy revealed that these opsonized bacteria are phagocytosed by the PMN. PMN require both antibody and complement to kill L. pneumophila; even then, PMN reduced CFU of L. pneumophila by only 0.5 log under conditions in which they reduce CFU of a serum-resistant encapsulated strain of Escherichia coli by 2.5 logs. Separation of PMN-associated and nonassociated CFU of L. pneumophila revealed that the major proportion of the surviving bacteria are PMN associated. Thus, the ineffective killing of opsonized L. pneumophila is a result of a failure of PMN to kill these bacteria after they become PMN- associated. With or without antibody, PMN do not support the growth of L. pneumophila. These findings suggest that PMN, even in conjunction with the humoral immune system, do not play a decisive role in defense against the Legionnaires' disease bacterium

    Activated human monocytes inhibit the intracellular multiplication of legionnaires’ disease bacteria

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    We have examined the interaction between virulent egg yolk-grown L. pneumophila, Philadelphia 1 strain, and in vitro-activated human monocytes, under antibiotic-free conditions. Freshly explanted human monocytes activated by incubation with concanavalin A (Con A) and human lymphocytes inhibited the intracellular multiplication of L. pneumophila. Both Con A and lymphocytes were required for activation. Con A was consistently maximally effective at greater than or equal to 4 μg/ml. Monocytes activated by incubation with cell-free filtered supernatant from Con A-sensitized mononuclear cell cultures also inhibited the intracellular multiplication of L. pneumophil a. The most potent supernatant was obtained from mononuclear cell cultures incubated with greater than or equal to 15 μg/ml Con A for 48 h. The degree of monocyte inhibition of L. pneumophila multiplication was proportional to the length of time monocytes were preincubated with supernatant (48 {greater than} 24 {greater than} 12 h) and to the concentration of supernatant added (40 percent {greater than} 20 percent {greater than} 10 percent {greater than} 5 percent). Monocytes treated with supernatant daily were more inhibitory than monocytes treated initially only. With time in culture, monocytes progressively lost a limited degree of spontaneous inhibitory capacity and also lost their capacity to respond to supernatant with inhibition of L. pneumophila multiplication. Supernatant-activated monocytes inhibited L. pneumophila multiplication in two ways. They phagocytosed fewer bacteria, and they slowed the rate of intracellular multiplication of bacteria that were internalized. As was the case with nonactivated monocytes, antibody had no effect on the rate of intracellular multiplication in supernatant-activated monocytes. Neither supernatant-activated nor nonactivated monocytes killed L. pneumophila in the absence of antibody. Both killed a limited proportion of these bacteria in the presence of antibody and complement. We have previously reported that anti-L, pneumophila antibody and complement neither promote effective killing of L. pneumophila by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes and monocytes nor inhibit the rate of L. pneumophila multiplication in monocytes. These findings and our present report that activated monocytes do inhibit L. pneumophila multiplication indicate that cell-mediated immunity plays a major role in host defense against Legionnaires’ disease

    Chemical Genetics Reveals Bacterial and Host Cell Functions Critical for Type IV Effector Translocation by Legionella pneumophila

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    Delivery of effector proteins is a process widely used by bacterial pathogens to subvert host cell functions and cause disease. Effector delivery is achieved by elaborate injection devices and can often be triggered by environmental stimuli. However, effector export by the L. pneumophila Icm/Dot Type IVB secretion system cannot be detected until the bacterium encounters a target host cell. We used chemical genetics, a perturbation strategy that utilizes small molecule inhibitors, to determine the mechanisms critical for L. pneumophila Icm/Dot activity. From a collection of more than 2,500 annotated molecules we identified specific inhibitors of effector translocation. We found that L. pneumophila effector translocation in macrophages requires host cell factors known to be involved in phagocytosis such as phosphoinositide 3-kinases, actin and tubulin. Moreover, we found that L. pneumophila phagocytosis and effector translocation also specifically require the receptor protein tyrosine phosphate phosphatases CD45 and CD148. We further show that phagocytosis is required to trigger effector delivery unless intimate contact between the bacteria and the host is artificially generated. In addition, real-time analysis of effector translocation suggests that effector export is rate-limited by phagocytosis. We propose a model in which L. pneumophila utilizes phagocytosis to initiate an intimate contact event required for the translocation of pre-synthesized effector molecules. We discuss the need for host cell participation in the initial step of the infection and its implications in the L. pneumophila lifestyle. Chemical genetic screening provides a novel approach to probe the host cell functions and factors involved in host–pathogen interactions

    Infection of Cultured Human Endothelial Cells by Legionella pneumophila

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    Legionella pneumophila is a gram-negative pathogen that causes a severe pneumonia known as Legionnaires' disease. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that L. pneumophila infects and grows within cultured human endothelial cells. Endothelial infection may contribute to lung damage observed during Legionnaires' disease and to systemic spread of this organism
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