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Infect Immun. 2006 Dec;74(12):6707-21. Epub 2006 Sep 18.

Both influenza-induced neutrophil dysfunction and neutrophil-independent mechanisms contribute to increased susceptibility to a secondary Streptococcus pneumoniae infection.

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1
Veterinary Molecular Biology Department, Montana State University, 960 Technology Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59718, USA. mcnamela@yahoo.com

Abstract

Since secondary Streptococcus pneumoniae infections greatly increase the mortality of influenza infections, we determined the relative roles of neutrophil-dependent and -independent mechanisms in increased susceptibility to S. pneumoniae during influenza infection. Mice infected with influenza for 6 days, but not 3 days, showed a significant increase in susceptibility to S. pneumoniae infection compared to mice not infected with influenza. There was significant neutrophil accumulation in the lungs of S. pneumoniae-infected mice regardless of whether or not they were infected with influenza for 3 or 6 days. Depletion of neutrophils in these mice resulted in increased susceptibility to S. pneumoniae in both the non-influenza-infected mice and mice infected with influenza for 3 days but not in the mice infected with influenza for 6 days, indicating that a prior influenza infection of 6 days may compromise neutrophil function, resulting in increased susceptibility to a S. pneumoniae infection. Neutrophils from the lungs of mice infected with influenza for 3 or 6 days exhibited functional impairment in the form of decreased phagocytosis and intracellular reactive oxygen species generation in response to S. pneumoniae. In addition, neutrophil-depleted mice infected with influenza for 6 days were more susceptible to S. pneumoniae than neutrophil-depleted mice not infected with influenza, indicating that neutrophil-independent mechanisms also contribute to influenza-induced increased susceptibility to S. pneumoniae. Pulmonary interleukin-10 levels were increased in coinfected mice infected with influenza for 6 days but not 3 days. Thus, an influenza infection of 6 days increases susceptibility to S. pneumoniae by both suppression of neutrophil function and by neutrophil-independent mechanisms such as enhanced cytokine production.

PMID:
16982840
PMCID:
PMC1698099
DOI:
10.1128/IAI.00789-06
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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