Treatment of persons with latent tuberculosis (TB) infection at greatest risk of reactivation is an important component of TB control and elimination strategies. Biomarkers evaluating the effectiveness of treatment of latent TB infection have not yet been identified. This information would enhance control efforts and assist the evaluation of new treatment regimes. We designed a two-group, two-arm, randomised clinical study of tuberculin skin test-positive participants: 26 with documented contact with TB patients and 34 with non-documented contact. Participants in each group were randomly assigned to the immediate- or deferred-isoniazid treatment arms. Assays of in vitro interferon (IFN)-? secretion in response to recombinant Rv1737 and overlapping synthetic peptide pools from various groups of immunodominant proteins were performed. During isoniazid therapy, a significant increase from baseline in the proportion of IFN-? responders to the 10-kDa culture filtrate protein, Rv2031, Rv0849, Rv1986, Rv2659c, Rv2693c and the recombinant Rv1737 protein was observed (p?0.05). The peptide pool of Rv0849 and Rv1737 recombinant proteins induced the highest percentage of IFN-? responders after isoniazid therapy. The in vitro IFN-? responses to these proteins might represent useful markers to evaluate changes associated with treatment of latent TB infection.
Nucleotide-binding oligomerizing domain-1 (NOD1) is a cytoplasmic receptor involved in recognizing bacterial peptidoglycan fragments that localize to the cytosol. NOD1 activation triggers inflammation, antimicrobial mechanisms and autophagy in both epithelial cells and murine macrophages. NOD1 mediates intracellular pathogen clearance in the lungs of mice; however, little is known about NOD1's role in human alveolar macrophages (AMs) or its involvement in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection.
Influenza causes over 200,000 hospitalizations a year in the United States, but few antiviral treatment studies have focused on patients hospitalized with influenza. This open-label, randomized study was initiated during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic to help assess the antiviral activity, safety, and tolerability of 5-10 days treatment with two different dosing regimens of the intravenous neuraminidase inhibitor, peramivir, in hospitalized subjects with influenza.
The efficacy of the H1N1 influenza vaccine relies on the induction of both humoral and cellular responses. This study evaluated the humoral and cellular responses to a monovalent non-adjuvanted pandemic influenza A/H1N1 vaccine in occupationally exposed subjects who were previously vaccinated with a seasonal vaccine.
Intracellular pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, reside in the phagosomes of macrophages where antigenic processing is initiated. Mycobacterial antigen-MHC class II complexes are formed within the phagosome and are then trafficked to the cell surface. Interferon-? (IFN-?) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) influence the outcome of M. tuberculosis infection; however, the role of these cytokines with regard to the formation of M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes remains unknown. We analysed the kinetics and subcellular localization of M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes in M. tuberculosis-infected human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) using autologous M. tuberculosis-specific CD4(+) T cells. The MDMs were pre-treated with either IFN-? or IL-10 and infected with M. tuberculosis. Cells were mechanically homogenized, separated on Percoll density gradients and manually fractionated. The fractions were incubated with autologous M. tuberculosis -specific CD4(+) T cells. Our results demonstrated that in MDMs pre-treated with IFN-?, M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes were detected early mainly in the phagosomal fractions, whereas in the absence of IFN-?, the complexes were detected in the endosomal fractions. In MDMs pre-treated with IL-10, the M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes were retained in the endosomal fractions, and these complexes were not detected in the plasma membrane fractions. The results of immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated the presence of Ag85B associated with HLA-DR at the cell surface only in the IFN-?-treated MDMs, suggesting that IFN-? may accelerate M. tuberculosis antigen processing and presentation at the cell membrane, whereas IL-10 favours the trafficking of Ag85B to vesicles that do not contain LAMP-1. Therefore, IFN-? and IL-10 play a role in the formation and trafficking of M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes.
The immune mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of severe pneumonia associated with the A/H1N1 virus are not well known. The objective of this study was to determine whether severe A/H1N1-associated pneumonia can be explained by the emergence of particular T-cell subsets and the cytokines/chemokines they produced, as well as distinct responses to infection. T-cell subset distribution and cytokine/chemokine levels in peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were determined in patients with severe A/H1N1 infection, asymptomatic household contacts, and healthy controls. Cytokine and chemokine production was also evaluated after in vitro infection with seasonal H1N1 and pandemic A/H1N1 strains. We found an increase in the frequency of peripheral Th2 and Tc2 cells in A/H1N1 patients. A trend toward increased Tc1 cells was observed in household contacts. Elevated serum levels of IL-6, CXCL8, and CCL2 were found in patients and a similar cytokine/chemokine profile was observed in BAL, in which CCL5 was also increased. Infection assays revealed that both strains induce the production of several cytokines/chemokines at 24 and 72 h, however, IL-6, CCL3, and CXCL8 were strongly up-regulated in 72-h cultures in presence of the A/H1N1 virus. Several inflammatory mediators are up-regulated in peripheral and lung samples from A/H1N1-infected patients who developed severe pneumonia. In addition, the A/H1N1 strain induces higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines than the seasonal H1N1 strain. These findings suggest that it is possible to identify biomarkers of severe pneumonia and also suggest the therapeutic use of immunomodulatory drugs in patients with severe pneumonia associated with A/H1N1 infection.
Patients with Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases (MSMD) mainly suffer from Mycobacterium and Salmonella infections, which are due to mutations in genes controlling the interleukin (IL)-12/IL-23-dependent IFN-? production. We performed a molecular diagnosis in two Mexican patients with persistent mycobacterial infections. Patients 1 (P1) and 2 (P2) from two unrelated, non-consanguineous families from two villages near Mexico City developed bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) disease secondary to vaccination; patients and their families were studied at the immunological level for production and response to IFN-?. The ?1 subunit of the IL-12 receptor (encoded by the IL12RB1 gene) was not expressed in cells from P1 or P2, or in two siblings of P1. Sequencing of the IL12RB1 gene showed the same point mutation 1791+2 T>G, homozygous in patients and heterozygous in parents. P1 and P2 died at the ages of 4 and 16 years, respectively, with disseminated and uncontrolled BCG disease and with Candida albicans infections in spite of multiple anti-mycobacterial drug treatments. One of P2s siblings also died following disseminated mycobacterial infection secondary to BCG vaccination. These are the first cases in Mexico of patients with BCG disease traced to a mutation in the IL12RB1 gene, with a fatal outcome. Doctors must be alert to the adverse reactions to BCG vaccination and to persistent Mycobacterium infections, and in such cases should investigate possible mutations in the genes of the IL-12/IL-23-IFN-? axis.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are critical components in the regulation of pulmonary immune responses and the recognition of respiratory pathogens such as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (M.tb). Through examination of human alveolar macrophages this study attempts to better define the expression profiles of TLR2, TLR4 and TLR9 in the human lung compartment which are as yet still poorly defined.
Human tuberculosis (TB) principally involves the lungs, where local immunity impacts on the load of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). Because concomitants of local Th1 immunity are still under-explored in humans, we characterized immune responses in bronchoalveolar cells (BACs) and systemically in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in persons with active pulmonary TB and in healthy community controls. PPD- and live M.tb-induced IFN-gamma-production were observed in CD4(+), CD8(+), gammadeltaTCR(+), and CD56(+) alveolar T cell subpopulations and NK cells (CD3(-)CD56(+)). IFN-gamma-producing CD4(+) T cells (mostly CD45RO(+)) were more abundant (p<0.05). M.tb-induced IL-12p70, but interestingly also IL-4, was increased (p<0.05) in BACs from TB patients. Constitutive expression of IL-12Rbeta1 and IL-12Rbeta2 mRNA in BACs and PBMCs and IFN-gammaR1 in BACs was similar in both study groups. Data were normalized to account for differences in proportions of alveolar T cells and macrophages in the study groups. IFN-gamma-production and its induction by IL-12R engagement occur virtually unimpaired in the bronchoalveolar spaces of patients with pulmonary TB. The reasons for the apparent failure to control M. tuberculosis growth during active pulmonary TB disease is unknown but could be the expression of locally acting immunosuppressive mechanisms that subvert the antimycobacterial effects of IFN-gamma.
This study describes the achievements of the Mexican Consortium against Tuberculosis, in the Sanitary District of Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico between 1995 and 2008. In brief, the main results can be classified as follows: 1) Conventional and molecular epidemiology (measurement of burden of disease, trends, risk factors and vulnerable groups, consequences of drug resistance, identification of factors that favor nosocomial and community transmission); 2) Development of diagnostic techniques to detect drug resistance, description of circulating clones and adaptation of simple techniques to be used in the field; 3) Evaluation of usefulness of tuberculin skin test, immunologic responses to BCG, impact of directly observed therapy for tuberculosis (DOTS), and study of immunological biomarkers and 4) Comments on ethical aspects of tuberculosis research. Additionally, we describe the impact on public policies, transference of technology, capacity building and future perspectives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that there are about 8 million new cases annually of active Tuberculosis (TB). Despite its irregular effectiveness (0-89%), the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) BCG is the only vaccine available worldwide for prevention of TB; thus, the design is important of novel and more efficient vaccination strategies. Considering that ?-defensin-2 is an antimicrobial peptide that induces dendritic cell maturation through the TLR-4 receptor and that both ESAT-6 and Ag85B are immunodominant mycobacterial antigens and efficient activators of the protective immune response, we constructed two DNA vaccines by the fusion of the gene encoding ?-defensin-2 and antigens ESAT6 (pDE) and 85B (pDA). After confirming efficient local antigen expression that induced high and stable Interferon gamma (IFN-?) production in intramuscular (i.m.) vaccinated Balb/c mice, groups of mice were vaccinated with DNA vaccines in a prime-boost regimen with BCG and with BCG alone, and 2 months later were challenged with the mild virulence reference strain H37Rv and the highly virulent clinical isolate LAM 5186. The level of protection was evaluated by survival, lung bacilli burdens, and extension of tissue damage (pneumonia). Vaccination with both DNA vaccines showed similar protection to that of BCG. After the challenge with the highly virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain, animals that were prime-boosted with BCG and then boosted with both DNA vaccines showed significant higher survival and less tissue damage than mice vaccinated only with BCG. These results suggest that improvement of BCG vaccination, such as the prime-boost DNA vaccine, represents a more efficient vaccination scheme against TB.
A role for the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) receptor in pulmonary innate immune responses has recently been explored. In the present study, we investigated the role that NOD2 plays in human alveolar macrophage innate responses and determined its involvement in the response to infection with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Our results showed that NOD2 was expressed in human alveolar macrophages, and significant amounts of IL-1?, IL-6, and TNF-? were produced upon ligand recognition with muramyldipeptide (MDP). NOD2 ligation induced the transcription and protein expression of the antimicrobial peptide LL37 and the autophagy enzyme IRGM in alveolar macrophages, demonstrating a novel function for this receptor in these cells. MDP treatment of alveolar macrophages improved the intracellular growth control of virulent M. tuberculosis; this was associated with a significant release of TNF-? and IL-6 and overexpression of bactericidal LL37. In addition, the autophagy proteins IRGM, LC3 and ATG16L1 were recruited to the bacteria-containing autophagosome after treatment with MDP. In conclusion, our results suggest that NOD2 can modulate the innate immune response of alveolar macrophages and play a role in the initial control of respiratory M. tuberculosis infections.
CD33 is a membrane receptor containing a lectin domain and a cytoplasmic immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM) that is able to inhibit cytokine production. CD33 is expressed by monocytes, and reduced expression of CD33 correlates with augmented production of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1?, TNF-?, and IL-8. However, the role of CD33 in the inflammation associated with hyperglycemia and diabetes is unknown. Therefore, we studied CD33 expression and inflammatory cytokine secretion in freshly isolated monocytes from patients with type 2 diabetes. To evaluate the effects of hyperglycemia, monocytes from healthy donors were cultured with different glucose concentrations (15-50 mmol/l D-glucose), and CD33 expression and inflammatory cytokine production were assessed. The expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling protein-3 (SOCS-3) and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were also evaluated to address the cellular mechanisms involved in the down-regulation of CD33.
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