Helminth infections predispose mice to pneumococcal pneumonia but not to other pneumonic pathogens

Nopporn Apiwattanakul, Paul G. Thomas, Raymond E. Kuhn, De’Broski R. Herbert, Jonathan Mccullers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pneumonia is the leading killer of children worldwide. Here, we report that helminth-infected mice develop fatal pneumonia when challenged with Streptococcus pneumoniae. Mice were chronically infected with either the flatworm Taenia crassiceps or the roundworm Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Upon challenge with a pneumonic type 3 strain of S. pneumoniae (A66.1), the worm-infected mice developed pneumonia at a rate and to a degree higher than age-matched control mice as measured by bioluminescent imaging and lung titers. This predisposition to pneumonia appears to be specific to S. pneumoniae, as worm-infected mice did not show evidence of increased morbidity when challenged with a lethal dose of influenza virus or sublethal doses of Staphylococcus aureus or Listeria monocytogenes. The defect was also present when worm-infected mice were challenged with a type 2 sepsis-causing strain (D39); an increased rate of pneumonia, decreased survival, and increased lung and blood titers were found. Pneumococcal colonization and immunity against acute otitis media were unaffected. Anti-helminthic treatment in the H. polygyrus model reversed this susceptibility. We conclude that helminth coinfection predisposes mice to fatal pneumococcal pneumonia by promoting increased outgrowth of bacteria in the lungs and blood. These data have broad implications for the prevention and treatment for pneumonia in the developing world, where helminth infections are endemic and pneumococcal pneumonia is common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Microbiology and Immunology
Volume203
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 26 2014

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Pneumococcal Pneumonia
Helminths
Pneumonia
Lung
Infection
Nematospiroides dubius
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Platyhelminths
Taenia
Otitis Media
Listeria monocytogenes
Orthomyxoviridae
Coinfection
Staphylococcus aureus
Immunity
Sepsis
Morbidity
Bacteria
Therapeutics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Helminth infections predispose mice to pneumococcal pneumonia but not to other pneumonic pathogens. / Apiwattanakul, Nopporn; Thomas, Paul G.; Kuhn, Raymond E.; Herbert, De’Broski R.; Mccullers, Jonathan.

In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Vol. 203, No. 5, 26.09.2014, p. 357-364.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Apiwattanakul, Nopporn ; Thomas, Paul G. ; Kuhn, Raymond E. ; Herbert, De’Broski R. ; Mccullers, Jonathan. / Helminth infections predispose mice to pneumococcal pneumonia but not to other pneumonic pathogens. In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology. 2014 ; Vol. 203, No. 5. pp. 357-364.
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