Chemokines and chemokine receptor-mediated effects are important mediators of the immunological response and cure in human leishmaniasis. However, in addition to their signalling properties for leukocytes, many chemokines have also been shown to act directly as antimicrobial peptides on bacteria and fungi. We screened ten human chemokines (CXCL2, CXCL6, CXCL8, CXCL9, CXCL10, CCL2, CCL3, CCL20, CCL27, CCL28) for antimicrobial effects on the promastigote form of the protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana, and observed direct parasiticidal effects of several, CCL28 being the most potent. Damage to the plasma membrane integrity could be visualised by entrance of propidium iodide, as measured with flow cytometry, and by scanning electron microscopy, which showed morphological changes and aggregation of cells. The findings were in concordance with parasiticidal activity, measured by decreased mitochondrial activity in an MTT-assay. This is the first report of direct antimicrobial activity by chemokines on parasites. This component of immunity against Leishmania parasites identified here warrants further investigation that might lead to new insight in the mechanisms of human infection and/or new therapeutic approaches.
A syndrome of community acquired liver abscess caused by highly virulent hypermucoviscous, rmpA positive Klebsiella pneumoniae strains occurs with high incidence in Asia. We here report a case complicated by metastatic infection, to our knowledge, the first one described in Northern Europe. This and other recently reported cases indicate the emergence of this severe syndrome outside of Asia.
Many endocarditis pathogens activate human platelets and this has been proposed to contribute to virulence. Here we report for the first time that many clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecalis, a common pathogen in infective endocarditis, aggregate human platelets. 84 isolates from human blood and urine were screened for their ability to aggregate platelets from four different donors. Platelet aggregation occurred for between 11 and 65% of isolates depending on the donor. In one donor, a significantly larger proportion of isolates from blood than from urine caused platelet aggregation. Median time to aggregation was 11 min and had a tendency to be shorter for blood isolates as compared to urine isolates. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) was shown to be essential in mediating activation and aggregation. Platelet aggregation could be abolished by an IgG-specific proteinase (IdeS), by an antibody blocking FcRgammaIIa on platelets, or by preabsorption of plasma with an E. faecalis isolate. Fibrinogen binding to bacteria or platelets does not contribute to platelet activation or aggregation under our experimental conditions. These results indicate that platelet activation and aggregation by E. faecalis is dependent on both host and bacterial factors and that it may be involved in the pathogenesis of invasive disease with this organism.
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