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New Microbiol. 2009 Apr;32(2):159-66.

A natural pertactin deficient strain of Bordetella pertussis shows improved entry in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


The invasion and the immunomodulatory effect of a Bordetella pertussis natural deficient strain 00141(PRN-) on human dendritic cells (MDDC) and its in vivo infection ability in a mouse model were evaluated in comparison with the reference B. pertussis strain ATCC 97-97 (18323). The mutant was isolated from a case of pertussis which occurred in a 22-month-old infant with typical symptoms of the disease. The results showed that this natural B. pertussis PRN deficient strain presented higher invasion ability of human MDDC compared to the reference strain. This natural mutant similar to the B. pertussis reference strain had immunomodulatory properties, inducing maturation in the DC phenotype which resulted in the acquisition of potent T cell-activating properties and down-regulated IL-12 production, and secretion of IL-10. The ability of PRN- strain to infect the lungs of CD1 mice was comparable to the reference strain and no difference was observed in the kinetics of clearance. Overall, these results show that the enhanced ability of the PRN- strain to invade/infect MDCC suggest that the PRN antigen may play a role in survival of the microorganism in the host.

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