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Infect Immun. 2006 Feb;74(2):1043-9.

The Bordetella bronchiseptica type III secretion system inhibits gamma interferon production that is required for efficient antibody-mediated bacterial clearance.

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Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 115 Henning, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Several species of pathogenic microorganisms have developed strategies to survive and persist in vital organs which are normally maintained as sterile by the generation of strong immune responses. Here, we report an immunomodulation involving the Bordetella bronchiseptica type III secretion system (TTSS) which contributes to bacterial survival in the lower respiratory tract of the host. The prolonged persistence of B. bronchiseptica that was observed in gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-/- mice indicates that the efficient clearance of bacteria from the lower respiratory tract requires not only B cells and antibodies but also IFN-gamma production. Our data also suggest that interleukin-10 (IL-10)-producing splenocytes are generated early during infection and that IL-10 inhibits IFN-gamma-producing cells and delays the clearance of B. bronchiseptica from the lungs. The TTSS of B. bronchiseptica inhibits the generation of IFN-gamma-producing splenocytes and is required for long-term bacterial persistence in the lower respiratory tract in wild-type mice. This suggests that a mechanism involving the modulation of IFN-gamma production by the TTSS facilitates B. bronchiseptica survival in the lower respiratory tract.

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