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Effective control of Staphylococcus aureus lung infection despite tertiary lymphoid structure disorganisation
PP-PDPI, 28 Apr 2021 18:16:06


Background Tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) are triggered by persistent bronchopulmonary infection with Staphylococcus aureus, but their roles remain elusive. The present study sought to examine the effects of B- and/or T-cell depletion on S. aureus infection and TLS development (lymphoid neogenesis) in mice.

Methods C57Bl/6 mice were pre-treated with 1) an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) (B-cell depletion) or 2) an anti-CD4 and/or an anti-CD8 mAb (T-cell depletion) or 3) a combination of anti-CD20, anti-CD4 and anti-CD8 mAbs (combined B- and T-cell depletion) or 4) isotype control mAbs. After lymphocyte depletion, mice were infected by intratracheal instillation of agarose beads containing S. aureus (106 CFU per mouse). 14 days later, bacterial load and lung inflammatory cell infiltration were assessed by cultures and immunohistochemistry, respectively.

Results 14 days after S. aureus-bead instillation, lung bacterial load was comparable between control and lymphocyte-depleted mice. While TLS were observed in the lungs of infected mice pre-treated with control mAbs, these structures were disorganised or abolished in the lungs of lymphocyte-depleted mice. The absence of CD20+ B-lymphocytes had no effect on CD3+ T-lymphocyte infiltration, whereas CD4+/CD8+ T-cell depletion markedly reduced CD20+ B-cell infiltration. Depletion of CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells separately had limited effect on B-cell infiltration, but led to the absence of germinal centres.

Conclusion TLS disorganisation is not associated with loss of infection control in mice persistently infected with S. aureus.

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