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Insua J.L.,Laboratory of Microbial Pathogenesis | Insua J.L.,Research Center Biomedica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias | Llobet E.,Laboratory of Microbial Pathogenesis | Llobet E.,Research Center Biomedica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias | And 11 more authors.
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2013

The implementation of infection models that approximate human disease is essential for understanding pathogenesis at the molecular level and for testing new therapies before they are entered into clinical stages. Insects are increasingly being used as surrogate hosts because they share, with mammals, essential aspects of the innate immune response to infections. We examined whether the larva of the wax moth Galleria mellonella could be used as a host model to conceptually approximate Klebsiella pneumoniae-triggered pneumonia. We report that the G. mellonella model is capable of distinguishing between pathogenic and nonpathogenic Klebsiella strains. Moreover, K. pneumoniae infection of G. mellonella models some of the known features of Klebsiella-induced pneumonia, i.e., cell death associated with bacterial replication, avoidance of phagocytosis by phagocytes, and the attenuation of host defense responses, chiefly the production of antimicrobial factors. Similar to the case for the mouse pneumonia model, activation of innate responses improved G. mellonella survival against subsequent Klebsiella challenge. Virulence factors necessary in the mouse pneumonia model were also implicated in the Galleria model. We found that mutants lacking capsule polysaccharide, lipid A decorations, or the outer membrane proteins OmpA and OmpK36 were attenuated in Galleria. All mutants activated G. mellonella defensive responses. The Galleria model also allowed us to monitor Klebsiella gene expression. The expression levels of cps and the loci implicated in lipid A remodeling peaked during the first hours postinfection, in a PhoPQ- and PmrAB-governed process. Taken together, these results support the utility of G. mellonella as a surrogate host for assessing infections with K. pneumoniae. ©2013, American Society for Microbiology.

Garmendia J.,Public University of Navarra | Garmendia J.,A+ Network | Marti-Lliteras P.,A+ Network | Marti-Lliteras P.,Laboratory of Microbial Pathogenesis | And 6 more authors.
International Microbiology | Year: 2012

The human respiratory tract contains a highly adapted microbiota including commensal and opportunistic pathogens. Noncapsulated or nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a human-restricted member of the normal airway microbiota in healthy carriers and an opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised individuals. The duality of NTHi as a colonizer and as a symptomatic infectious agent is closely related to its adaptation to the host, which in turn greatly relies on the genetic plasticity of the bacterium and is facilitated by its condition as a natural competent. The variable genotype of NTHi accounts for its heterogeneous gene expression and variable phenotype, leading to differential host-pathogen interplay among isolates. Here we review our current knowledge of NTHi diversity in terms of genotype, gene expression, antigenic variation, and the phenotypes associated with colonization and pathogenesis. The potential benefits of NTHi diversity studies discussed herein include the unraveling of pathogenicity clues, the generation of tools to predict virulence from genomic data, and the exploitation of a unique natural system for the continuous monitoring of long-term bacterial evolution in human airways exposed to noxious agents. Finally, we highlight the challenge of monitoring both the pathogen and the host in longitudinal studies, and of applying comparative genomics to clarify the meaning of the vast NTHi genetic diversity and its translation to virulence phenotypes.

March C.,Laboratory of Microbial Pathogenesis | March C.,Research Center Biomedica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias CibeRes | Moranta D.,Laboratory of Microbial Pathogenesis | Moranta D.,Research Center Biomedica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias CibeRes | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

Outer membrane protein A (OmpA) is a class of proteins highly conserved among the Enterobacteriaceae family and throughout evolution. Klebsiella pneumoniae is a capsulated Gram-negative pathogen. It is an important cause of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. Evidence indicates that K. pneumoniae infections are characterized by a lack of an early inflammatory response. Data from our laboratory indicate that K. pneumoniae CPS helps to suppress the host inflammatory response. However, it is unknown whether K. pneumoniae employs additional factors to modulate host inflammatory responses. Here, we report that K. pneumoniae OmpA is important for immune evasion in vitro and in vivo. Infection of A549 and normal human bronchial cells with 52OmpA2, an ompA mutant, increased the levels of IL-8. 52145-ΔwcaK2ompA, which does not express CPS and ompA, induced the highest levels of IL-8. Both mutants could be complemented. In vivo, 52OmpA2 induced higher levels of tnfα, kc, and il6 than the wild type. ompA mutants activated NF-κB, and the phosphorylation of p38, p44/42, and JNK MAPKs and IL-8 induction was via NF-κB-dependent and p38- and p44/42-dependent pathways. 52OmpA2 engaged TLR2 and -4 to activate NF-κB, whereas 52145-ΔwcaK2ompA activated not only TLR2 and TLR4 but also NOD1. Finally, we demonstrate that the ompA mutant is attenuated in the pneumonia mouse model. The results of this study indicate that K. pneumoniae OmpA contributes to attenuate airway cell responses. This may facilitate pathogen survival in the hostile environment of the lung. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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