DOI: 10.1101/512293Jan 4, 2019Paper

Viral infection enhances vomocytosis of intracellular fungi via Type I interferons

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Paula I SeoaneRobin C. May


Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic human pathogen, which causes serious disease in immunocompromised hosts. Infection with this pathogen is particularly relevant in HIV+ patients, where it leads to around 200,000 deaths per annum. A key feature of cryptococcal pathogenesis is the ability of the fungus to survive and replicate within the phagosome of macrophages, as well as its ability to escape via a novel non-lytic mechanism known as vomocytosis. We have been exploring whether viral infection affects the interaction between C. neoformans and macrophages. Here we show that viral infection enhances cryptococcal vomocytosis without altering phagocytosis or intracellular proliferation of the fungus. This effect occurs with distinct, unrelated human viral pathogens and is recapitulated when macrophages are stimulated with the anti-viral cytokine interferon alpha (IFN). Importantly, the effect is abrogated when type-I interferon signalling is blocked, thus underscoring the importance of type-I interferons in this phenomenon. Our results highlight the importance of incorporating specific context cues while studying host-pathogen interactions. By doing so, we found that acute viral infection may trigger the release of latent ...Continue Reading

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Cryptococcus neoformans
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