DOI: 10.1101/459495Nov 1, 2018Paper

Experimental Human Challenge Reveals Distinct Mechanisms of Acquisition or Protection Against Pneumococcal Colonization

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Elissavet NikolaouD M Ferreira

Abstract

Colonization of the upper respiratory tract with Streptococcus pneumoniae is the precursor of pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive disease. Following exposure, however, it is unclear which human immune mechanisms determine whether a pathogen will colonize. We used a human challenge model to investigate host-pathogen interactions in the first hours and days following intranasal exposure to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Using a novel home sampling method, we measured early immune responses and bacterial density dynamics in the nose and saliva after pneumococcal exposure. We found that nasal colonization can take up to 24 hours to become established. Also, two distinct bacterial clearance profiles were associated with protection: nasal clearers with immediate clearance of bacteria in the nose by the activity of pre-existent mucosal neutrophils and saliva clearers with detectable pneumococcus in saliva at one-hour post challenge and delayed clearance mediated by an inflammatory response and increased neutrophil activity 24 hours post bacterial encounter.

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