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Infect Immun. 2002 Jan;70(1):380-8.

Persistent Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection occurs in the absence of functional major histocompatibility complex class II genes.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA. rganta@vet.ksu.edu
2
KS St U, Manhattan

Abstract

Human monocytic ehrlichiosis is an emerging tick-borne disease caused by the rickettsia Ehrlichia chaffeensis. We investigated the impact of two genes that control macrophage and T-cell function on murine resistance to E. chaffeensis. Congenic pairs of wild-type and toll-like receptor 4 (tlr4)- or major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II)-deficient mice were used for these studies. Wild-type mice cleared the infection within 2 weeks, and the response included macrophage activation and the synthesis of E. chaffeensis-specific Th1-type immunoglobulin G response. The absence of a functional tlr4 gene depressed nitric oxide and interleukin 6 secretion by macrophages and resulted in short-term persistent infections for > or =30 days. In the absence of MHC-II alleles, E. chaffeensis infections persisted throughout the entire 3-month evaluation period. Together, these data suggest that macrophage activation and cell-mediated immunity, orchestrated by CD4(+) T cells, are critical for conferring resistance to E. chaffeensis.

PMID:
11748204
PMCID:
PMC127650
DOI:
10.1128/iai.70.1.380-388.2002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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