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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Science Policy

Clostridium difficile Modulates Host Innate Immunity via Toxin-Independent and Dependent Mechanism(s)
Published: Monday, July 29, 2013
Author: Nazila V. Jafari et al.

by Nazila V. Jafari, Sarah A. Kuehne, Clare E. Bryant, Mamoun Elawad, Brendan W. Wren, Nigel P. Minton, Elaine Allan, Mona Bajaj-Elliott

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of hospital and community-acquired antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and currently represents a significant health burden. Although the role and contribution of C. difficile toxins to disease pathogenesis is being increasingly understood, at present other facets of C. difficile-host interactions, in particular, bacterial-driven effects on host immunity remain less studied. Using an ex-vivo model of infection, we report that the human gastrointestinal mucosa elicits a rapid and significant cytokine response to C. difficile. Marked increase in IFN-? with modest increase in IL-22 and IL-17A was noted. Significant increase in IL-8 suggested potential for neutrophil influx while presence of IL-12, IL-23, IL-1ß and IL-6 was indicative of a cytokine milieu that may modulate subsequent T cell immunity. Majority of C. difficile-driven effects on murine bone-marrow-derived dendritic cell (BMDC) activation were toxin-independent; the toxins were however responsible for BMDC inflammasome activation. In contrast, human monocyte-derived DCs (mDCs) released IL-1ß even in the absence of toxins suggesting host-specific mediation. Infected DC-T cell crosstalk revealed the ability of R20291 and 630 WT strains to elicit a differential DC IL-12 family cytokine milieu which culminated in significantly greater Th1 immunity in response to R20291. Interestingly, both strains induced a similar Th17 response. Elicitation of mucosal IFN-?/IL-17A and Th1/Th17 immunity to C. difficile indicates a central role for this dual cytokine axis in establishing antimicrobial immunity to CDI.
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