Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Microbiol. 2010 Aug 25;10:226. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-10-226.

Immune regulation of a chronic bacteria infection and consequences for pathogen transmission.

Author information

  • 1Dept Biology, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The role of host immunity has been recognized as not only playing a fundamental role in the interaction between the host and pathogen but also in influencing host infectiousness and the ability to shed pathogens. Despite the interest in this area of study, and the development of theoretical work on the immuno-epidemiology of infections, little is known about the immunological processes that influence pathogen shedding patterns.

RESULTS:

We used the respiratory bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica and its common natural host, the rabbit, to examine the intensity and duration of oro-nasal bacteria shedding in relation to changes in the level of serum antibodies, blood cells, cytokine expression and number of bacteria colonies in the respiratory tract. Findings show that infected rabbits shed B. bronchiseptica by contact up to 4.5 months post infection. Shedding was positively affected by number of bacteria in the nasal cavity (CFU/g) but negatively influenced by serum IgG, which also contributed to the initial reduction of bacteria in the nasal cavity. Three main patterns of shedding were identified: i- bacteria were shed intermittently (46% of individuals), ii- bacteria shedding fell with the progression of the infection (31%) and iii- individuals never shed bacteria despite being infected (23%). Differences in the initial number of bacteria shed between the first two groups were associated with differences in the level of serum antibodies and white blood cells. These results suggest that the immunological conditions at the early stage of the infection may play a role in modulating the long term dynamics of B. bronchiseptica shedding.

CONCLUSIONS:

We propose that IgG influences the threshold of bacteria in the oro-nasal cavity which then affects the intensity and duration of individual shedding. In addition, we suggest that a threshold level of infection is required for shedding, below this value individuals never shed bacteria despite being infected. The mechanisms regulating these interactions are still obscure and more studies are needed to understand the persistence of bacteria in the upper respiratory tract and the processes controlling the intensity and duration of shedding.

PMID:
20738862
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3224677
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk