bims-bac4me Biomed News
on Microbiome and trained immunity
Issue of 2024‒03‒10
fifty-one papers selected by
Chun-Chi Chang, University Hospital Zurich

  1. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1275153
      Introduction: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infection of the skin leads to a rapid initial innate immune response with keratinocytes in the epidermis as the initial sensors. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) are the first innate immune cells to infiltrate infection sites where they provide an effective first-line of defense. Previous work of our group showed that in inflamed skin a crosstalk between PMNs and keratinocytes results in enhanced S. aureus skin colonization.Methods: In this work, we used an in vitro co-culture model to studied the crosstalk between primary human keratinocytes (PHKs) and PMNs in a sterile environment and upon S. aureus infection. We investigated the influence of PHKs on PMN activation by analyzing PMN lifespan, expression of degranulation markers and induction of proinflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, we analyzed the influence of PMNs on the inflammatory response of PHKs. Finally, we investigated the influence of the skin microbiome on PMN-mediated skin inflammation.
    Results: We show that co-culture of PMNs with PHKs induces activation and degranulation of PMNs and significantly enhances their lifespan compared to PMN cultivation alone by an IL-8 mediated mechanism and, furthermore, primes PMNs for enhanced activity after S. aureus infection. The prolonged incubation with PMNs also induces inflammatory responses in PHKs which are further exacerbated in the presence of S. aureus and induces further PMN recruitment thus fueling skin inflammation. Interestingly, infection of PHKs with the skin commensal S. epidermidis reduces the inflammatory effects of PMNs in the skin and exhibits an anti-inflammatory effect.
    Discussion: Our data indicate that skin infiltrating PMNs and PHKs influence each other in such a way to enhance skin inflammation and that commensal bacteria are able to reduce the inflammatory effect.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; keratinocytes; neutrophils; skin immune system; skin inflammation
  2. Heliyon. 2024 Mar 15. 10(5): e27125
      Contemporary research in the field of microbiota shows that commensal bacteria influence physiological activity of different organs and systems of a human organism, such as brain, lungs, immune and metabolic systems. This influence is realized by various processes. One of them is trough modulation of immune mechanisms. Interactions between microbiota and the human immune system are known to be complex and ambiguous. Dendritic cells (DCs) are unique cells, which initiate the development and polarization of adaptive immune response. These cells also interconnect native and specific immune reactivity. A large set of biochemical signals from microbiota in the form of different microbiota associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) and bacterial metabolites that act locally and distantly in the human organism. As a result, commensal bacteria influence the maturity and activity of dendritic cells and affect the overall immune reactivity of the human organism. It then determines the response to pathogenic microorganisms, inflammation, associated with different pathological conditions and even affects the effectiveness of vaccination.
    Keywords:  Antigen presenting cells; Autoinducer; Commensal bacteria; Lipopolysaccharide; Peptidoglycan; Secondary bile acid; Short chain fatty acid
  3. J Leukoc Biol. 2024 Mar 07. pii: qiae057. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mammalian immune system is constantly surveying our tissues to clear pathogens and maintain tissue homeostasis. In order to fulfill these tasks, immune cells take up nutrients to supply energy for survival and for directly regulating effector functions via their cellular metabolism; a process now known as immunometabolism. Neutrophilic granulocytes, the most abundant leukocytes in the human body, have a short half-life and are permanently needed in the defense against pathogens. According to a long-standing view, neutrophils were thought to primarily fuel their metabolic demands via glycolysis. Yet, this view has been challenged as other metabolic pathways recently emerged to contribute to neutrophil homeostasis and effector functions. In particular during neutrophilic development, the pentose phosphate pathway, glycogen synthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid oxidation crucially promote neutrophil maturation. At steady state, both glucose and lipid metabolism sustain neutrophil survival and maintain the intracellular redox balance. This review aims to comprehensively discuss how neutrophilic metabolism adapts during development, which metabolic pathways fuel their functionality and how these processes are reconfigured in case of various diseases. We provide several examples of hereditary diseases, where mutations in metabolic enzymes validate their critical role for neutrophil function.
    Keywords:  immunometabolism; innate immunity; metabolism; neutrophil
  4. J Infect Dis. 2024 Mar 06. pii: jiae112. [Epub ahead of print]
      The interaction between the Candida albicans cell wall and pattern recognition receptors is crucial for the initiation of host immune responses which, ultimately, contribute to the clearance of this pathogenic fungus. In the present study, we investigate the ability of C. albicans mannans to modulate immune response and induce innate immune memory (also termed trained immunity). Using mutants of C. albicans that are defective in, or lack mannosyl residues, we show that alterations in the mannosylation of the C. albicans cell wall affect the innate cytokine response and strongly reduce the secretion of T cell-derived cytokines. Subsequently, we demonstrate that the branching of N-linked mannan, but not O-linked mannan, is essential to potentiate the induction of trained immunity, a process mediated by Dectin-2. In conclusion, N-linked mannan is needed, in addition to β-glucans, for an effective induction of trained immunity by C. albicans.
    Keywords:   Candida albicans ; cell wall; innate immune memory; mannans; trained immunity
  5. Cell Rep. 2024 Mar 04. pii: S2211-1247(24)00222-5. [Epub ahead of print]43(3): 113894
      Monocytes can develop an exhausted memory state characterized by reduced differentiation, pathogenic inflammation, and immune suppression that drives immune dysregulation during sepsis. Chromatin alterations, notably via histone modifications, underlie innate immune memory, but the contribution of DNA methylation remains poorly understood. Using an ex vivo sepsis model, we show altered DNA methylation throughout the genome of exhausted monocytes, including genes implicated in immune dysregulation during sepsis and COVID-19 infection (e.g., Plac8). These changes are recapitulated in septic mice induced by cecal slurry injection. Methylation profiles developed in septic mice are maintained during ex vivo culture, supporting the involvement of DNA methylation in stable monocyte exhaustion memory. Methylome reprogramming is driven in part by Wnt signaling inhibition in exhausted monocytes and can be reversed with DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, Wnt agonists, or immune training molecules. Our study demonstrates the significance of altered DNA methylation in the maintenance of stable monocyte exhaustion memory.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; DNA methylation; TICAM2; Wnt signaling; epigenetics; innate immune memory; monocyte exhaustion; sepsis
  6. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1321560
      Introduction: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sinonasal mucosa with distinct endotypes including type 2 (T2) high eosinophilic CRS with nasal polyps (eCRSwNP), T2 low non-eosinophilic CRS with nasal polyps (neCRSwNP), and CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP).Methods: Given the heterogeneity of disease, we hypothesized that assessment of single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) across this spectrum of disease would reveal connections between infiltrating and activated immune cells and the epithelial and stromal populations that reside in sinonasal tissue.
    Results: Here we find increased expression of genes encoding glycolytic enzymes in epithelial cells (EpCs), stromal cells, and memory T-cell subsets from patients with eCRSwNP, as compared to healthy controls. In basal EpCs, this is associated with a program of cell motility and Rho GTPase effector expression. Across both stromal and immune subsets, glycolytic programming was associated with extracellular matrix interactions, proteoglycan generation, and collagen formation. Furthermore, we report increased cell-cell interactions between EpCs and stromal/immune cells in eCRSwNP compared to healthy control tissue, and we nominate candidate receptor-ligand pairs that may drive tissue remodeling.
    Discussion: These findings support a role for glycolytic reprograming in T2-elicited tissue remodeling and implicate increased cellular crosstalk in eCRSwNP.
    Keywords:  chronic rhinosinusitis; epithelial mesenchymal interaction; epithelium; glycolysis; single cell RNA sequencing
  7. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2024 Mar;35(3): e14095
      There are ample data to suggest that early-life dysbiosis of both the gut and/or airway microbiome can predispose a child to develop along a trajectory toward asthma. Although individual studies show clear associations between dysbiosis and asthma development, it is less clear what (collection of) bacterial species is mechanistically responsible for the observed effects. This is partly due to issues related to the asthma diagnosis and the broad spectrum of anatomical sites, sample techniques, and analysis protocols that are used in different studies. Moreover, there is limited attention for potential differences in the genetics of individuals that would affect the outcome of the interaction between the environment and that individual. Despite these challenges, the first bacterial components were identified that are able to affect the transcriptional state of human cells, ergo the immune system. Such molecules could in the future be the basis for intervention studies that are now (necessarily) restricted to a limited number of bacterial species. For this transition, it might be prudent to develop an ex vivo human model of a local mucosal immune system to better and safer explore the impact of such molecules. With this approach, we might move beyond association toward understanding of causality.
    Keywords:  asthma/airway microbiome; asthma/gut microbiome; asthma/immunology; asthma/microbiome; microbiome/immunology
  8. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1330021
      The prevalence rate of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is estimated at approximately 10% in critically ill patients worldwide, with the mortality rate ranging from 17% to 39%. Currently, ARDS mortality is usually higher in patients with COVID-19, giving another challenge for ARDS treatment. However, the treatment efficacy for ARDS is far from satisfactory. The relationship between the gut microbiota and ARDS has been substantiated by relevant scientific studies. ARDS not only changes the distribution of gut microbiota, but also influences intestinal mucosal barrier through the alteration of gut microbiota. The modulation of gut microbiota can impact the onset and progression of ARDS by triggering dysfunctions in inflammatory response and immune cells, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, autophagy, pyroptosis, and ferroptosis mechanisms. Meanwhile, ARDS may also influence the distribution of metabolic products of gut microbiota. In this review, we focus on the impact of ARDS on gut microbiota and how the alteration of gut microbiota further influences the immune function, cellular functions and related signaling pathways during ARDS. The roles of gut microbiota-derived metabolites in the development and occurrence of ARDS are also discussed.
    Keywords:  acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); axis; gut microbiota; gut-lung; metabolic products
  9. Nat Microbiol. 2024 Mar;9(3): 801-813
      Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen responsible for antibiotic-resistant infections. To identify vulnerabilities in cell envelope biogenesis that may overcome resistance, we enriched for S. aureus transposon mutants with defects in cell surface integrity or cell division by sorting for cells that stain with propidium iodide or have increased light-scattering properties, respectively. Transposon sequencing of the sorted populations identified more than 20 previously uncharacterized factors impacting these processes. Cells inactivated for one of these proteins, factor preventing extra Z-rings (FacZ, SAOUHSC_01855), showed aberrant membrane invaginations and multiple FtsZ cytokinetic rings. These phenotypes were suppressed in mutants lacking the conserved cell-division protein GpsB, which forms an interaction hub bridging envelope biogenesis factors with the cytokinetic ring in S. aureus. FacZ was found to interact directly with GpsB in vitro and in vivo. We therefore propose that FacZ is an envelope biogenesis factor that antagonizes GpsB function to prevent aberrant division events in S. aureus.
  10. J Inflamm Res. 2024 ;17 1295-1323
      Rhinosinusitis (RS) is an acute (ARS) or chronic (CRS) inflammatory disease of the nasal and paranasal sinus mucosa. CRS is a heterogeneous condition characterized by distinct inflammatory patterns (endotypes) and phenotypes associated with the presence (CRSwNP) or absence (CRSsNP) of nasal polyps. Mucosal barrier and mucociliary clearance dysfunction, inflammatory cell infiltration, mucus hypersecretion, and tissue remodeling are the hallmarks of CRS. However, the underlying factors, their priority, and the mechanisms of inflammatory responses remain unclear. Several hypotheses have been proposed that link CRS etiology and pathogenesis with host (eg, "immune barrier") and exogenous factors (eg, bacterial/fungal pathogens, dysbiotic microbiota/biofilms, or staphylococcal superantigens). The abnormal interplay between these factors is likely central to the pathophysiology of CRS by triggering compensatory immune responses. Here, we discuss the role of the sinonasal microbiota in CRS and its biofilms in the context of mucosal zinc (Zn) deficiency, serving as a possible unifying link between five host and "bacterial" hypotheses of CRS that lead to sinus mucosa remodeling. To date, no clear correlation between sinonasal microbiota and CRS has been established. However, the predominance of Corynebacteria and Staphylococci and their interspecies relationships likely play a vital role in the formation of the CRS-associated microbiota. Zn-mediated "nutritional immunity", exerted via calprotectin, alongside the dysregulation of Zn-dependent cellular processes, could be a crucial microbiota-shaping factor in CRS. Similar to cystic fibrosis (CF), the role of SPLUNC1-mediated regulation of mucus volume and pH in CRS has been considered. We complement the biofilms' "mechanistic" and "mucin" hypotheses behind CRS pathogenesis with the "structural" one - associated with bacterial "corncob" structures. Finally, microbiota restoration approaches for CRS prevention and treatment are reviewed, including pre- and probiotics, as well as Nasal Microbiota Transplantation (NMT).
    Keywords:  chronic rhinosinusitis; microbiota; nasal polyps; nutritional immunity; rhinosinusitis; rhinosinusitis pathophysiology
  11. Mucosal Immunol. 2024 Mar 04. pii: S1933-0219(24)00019-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      OM-85 is a bacterial lysate used in clinical practice to reduce duration and frequency of recurrent respiratory tract infections. Whereas knowledge on its regulatory effects in vivo has substantially advanced, the mechanisms of OM-85 sensing remain inadequately addressed. Here, we show that the immune response to OM-85 in the mouse is largely mediated by myeloid immune cells through Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 in vitro and in vivo. Instead, in human immune cells, TLR2 and TLR4 orchestrate the response to OM-85, which binds to both receptors as shown by surface plasmon resonance assay. RNA-sequencing analyses of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells reveal that OM-85 triggers a proinflammatory signature and a unique gene set, which is not induced by canonical agonists of TLR2 or TLR4 and comprises tolerogenic genes. A largely overlapping TLR2/4-dependent gene signature, was observed in individual subsets of primary human airway myeloid cells, highlighting the robust effects of OM-85. Collectively, our results suggest caution should be taken when relating murine studies on bacterial lysates to humans. Furthermore, our data shed light on how a standardized bacterial lysate shapes the response through TLR2 and TLR4, which are crucial for immune response, trained immunity, and tolerance.
    Keywords:  BALF; Bacterial lysate; Myeloid cells; TLR2; TLR4
  12. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2024 Mar 05. pii: S1043-2760(24)00033-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Immune cells undergo rapid and extensive metabolic changes during inflammation. In addition to contributing to energetic and biosynthetic demands, metabolites can also function as signaling molecules. Itaconate (ITA) rapidly accumulates to high levels in myeloid cells under infectious and sterile inflammatory conditions. This metabolite binds to and regulates the function of diverse proteins intracellularly to influence metabolism, oxidative response, epigenetic modification, and gene expression and to signal extracellularly through binding the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Administration of ITA protects against inflammatory diseases and blockade of ITA production enhances antitumor immunity in preclinical models. In this article, we review ITA metabolism and its regulation, discuss its target proteins and mechanisms, and conjecture a rationale for developing ITA-based therapeutics to treat inflammatory diseases and cancer.
    Keywords:  IRG1/ACOD1; cancer; inflammatory diseases; itaconate
  13. mSystems. 2024 Mar 06. e0104823
      Secondary bacterial challenges during influenza virus infection "superinfection") cause excessive mortality and hospitalization. Here, we present a longitudinal study of bulk gene expression changes in murine lungs during superinfection, with an initial influenza A virus infection and a subsequent Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. In addition to the well-characterized impairment of the host response, we identified superinfection-specific alterations in the global transcriptional program that are linked to the host's ability to resist the pathogens. Particularly, whereas superinfected mice manifested an excessive rapid induction of the resistance-to-infection program, there was a substantial tissue-level rewiring of this program: upon superinfection, interferon-regulated genes were switched from positive to negative correlations with the host's resistance state, whereas genes of fatty acid metabolism switched from negative to positive correlations with resistance states. Thus, the transcriptional resistance state in superinfection is reprogrammed toward repressed interferon signaling and induced fatty acid metabolism. Our findings suggest new insights into a tissue-level remodeling of the host defense upon superinfection, providing promising targets for future therapeutic interventions.IMPORTANCE: Secondary bacterial infections are the most frequent complications during influenza A virus (IAV) pandemic outbreaks, contributing to excessive morbidity and mortality in the human population. Most IAV-related deaths are attributed to Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) infections, which usually begin within the first week of IAV infection in the respiratory tracts. Here, we focused on longitudinal transcriptional responses during a superinfection model consisting of an SP infection that follows an initial IAV infection, comparing superinfection to an IAV-only infection, an SP-only infection, and control treatments. Our longitudinal data allowed a fine analysis of gene expression changes during superinfection. For instance, we found that superinfected mice exhibited rapid gene expression induction or reduction within the first 12 h after encountering the second pathogen. Cell proliferation and immune response activation processes were upregulated, while endothelial processes, vasculogenesis, and angiogenesis were downregulated, providing promising targets for future therapeutic interventions. We further analyzed the longitudinal transcriptional responses in the context of a previously defined spectrum of the host's resistance state, revealing superinfection-specific reprogramming of resistance states, such as reprogramming of fatty acid metabolism and interferon signaling. The reprogrammed functions are compelling new targets for switching the pathogenic superinfection state into a single-infection state.
    Keywords:  RNA sequencing; Streptococcus pneumoniae; host resistance; influenza; superinfection; system biology
  14. Nature. 2024 Mar 06.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Immunology
  15. J Leukoc Biol. 2024 Mar 07. pii: qiae025. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in humans and play a role in the innate immune response by being the first cells attracted to the site of infection. While early studies presented neutrophils as almost exclusively glycolytic cells, recent advances show that these cells use several metabolic pathways other than glycolysis, such as the pentose phosphate pathway, oxidative phosphorylation, fatty acid oxidation, and glutaminolysis, which they modulate to perform their functions. Metabolism shifts from fatty acid oxidation-mediated mitochondrial respiration in immature neutrophils to glycolysis in mature neutrophils. Tissue environments largely influence neutrophil metabolism according to nutrient sources, inflammatory mediators, and oxygen availability. Inhibition of metabolic pathways in neutrophils results in impairment of certain effector functions, such as NETosis, chemotaxis, degranulation, and reactive oxygen species generation. Alteration of these neutrophil functions is implicated in certain human diseases, such as antiphospholipid syndrome, coronavirus disease 2019, and bronchiectasis. Metabolic regulators such as AMPK, HIF-1α, mTOR, and Arf6 are linked to neutrophil metabolism and function and could potentially be targeted for the treatment of diseases associated with neutrophil dysfunction. This review details the effects of alterations in neutrophil metabolism on the effector functions of these cells.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; diseases; fatty acid oxidation; functions; glutaminolysis; glycolysis; immunometabolism; neutrophils; oxidative phosphorylation; pentose phosphate pathway
  16. Inflamm Regen. 2024 Mar 05. 44(1): 11
      Gut dysbiosis is closely linked to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Emerging studies highlight the relationship between host metabolism and the modulation of gut microbiota composition through regulating the luminal microenvironment. In IBD, various disease-associated factors contribute to the significant perturbation of host metabolism. Such disturbance catalyzes the selective proliferation of specific microbial populations, particularly pathobionts such as adherent invasive Escherichia coli and oral-derived bacteria. Pathobionts employ various strategies to adapt better to the disease-associated luminal environments. In addition to the host-microbe interaction, recent studies demonstrate that the metabolic network between commensal symbionts and pathobionts facilitates the expansion of pathobionts in the inflamed gut. Understanding the metabolic network among the host, commensal symbionts, and pathobionts provides new insights into the pathogenesis of IBD and novel avenues for treating IBD.
    Keywords:  AIEC; Gut microbiota; IBD; Metabolic network; Pathobiont
  17. Respir Res. 2024 Mar 08. 25(1): 119
      BACKGROUND: The pattern recognition receptor Dectin-1 was initially discovered to play a pivotal role in mediating pulmonary antifungal immunity and promoting neutrophil-driven inflammation. Recent studies have revealed that Dectin-1 is overexpressed in asthma, but the specific mechanism remains elusive. Additionally, Dectin-1 has been implicated in promoting pyroptosis, a hallmark of severe asthma airway inflammation. Nevertheless, the involvement of the non-classical pyroptosis signal caspase-11/4 and its upstream regulatory mechanisms in asthma has not been completely explored.METHODS: House dust mite (HDM)-induced mice was treated with Dectin-1 agonist Curdlan, Dectin-1 inhibitor Laminarin, and caspase-11 inhibitor wedelolactone separately. Subsequently, inflammatory cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were analyzed. Western blotting was performed to measure the protein expression of caspase-11 and gasdermin D (GSDMD). Cell pyroptosis and the expression of chemokine were detected in vitro. The correlation between Dectin-1 expression, pyroptosis factors and neutrophils in the induced sputum of asthma patients was analyzed.
    RESULTS: Curdlan appeared to exacerbate neutrophil airway inflammation in asthmatic mice, whereas wedelolactone effectively alleviated airway inflammation aggravated by Curdlan. Moreover, Curdlan enhanced the release of caspase-11 activation fragments and N-terminal fragments of gasdermin D (GSDMD-N) stimulated by HDM both in vivo or in vitro. In mouse alveolar macrophages (MH-S cells), Curdlan/HDM stimulation resulted in vacuolar degeneration and elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. In addition, there was an upregulation of neutrophil chemokines CXCL1, CXCL3, CXCL5 and their receptor CXCR2, which was suppressed by wedelolactone. In asthma patients, a positive correlation was observed between the expression of Dectin-1 on macrophages and caspase-4 (the human homology of caspase-11), and the proportion of neutrophils in induced sputum.
    CONCLUSION: Dectin-1 activation in asthma induced caspase-11/4 mediated macrophage pyroptosis, which subsequently stimulated the secretion of chemokines, leading to the exacerbation of airway neutrophil inflammation.
    Keywords:  Asthma; Caspase-11; Dectin-1; Neutrophil; Pyroptosis
  18. Biotechnol Adv. 2024 Mar 01. pii: S0734-9750(24)00030-2. [Epub ahead of print] 108336
      The population dynamics of the human microbiome have been associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, obesity, autoimmune diseases, and many other human disease states. An emerging paradigm in treatment is the administration of live engineered organisms, so- called next-generation probiotics. However, the efficacy of these microbial therapies can be limited by the organism's overall performance in the harsh and nutrient-limited environment of the gut. In this review, we summarize the current state of the art use of bacterial and yeast strains as probiotics, highlight the recent development of genetic tools for engineering new therapeutic functions in these organisms, and report on the latest therapeutic applications of engineered probiotics, including recent clinical trials. We also discuss the supplementation of prebiotics as a method of manipulating the microbiome and improving the overall performance of engineered live biotherapeutics.
    Keywords:  Genetic engineering; Human diseases; Live biotherapeutics; Microbiome engineering; Next-generation probiotics; Prebiotics; Probiotics; Synbiotics; Synthetic biology
  19. Burns Trauma. 2024 ;12 tkad059
      The efficient management of skin wounds for rapid and scarless healing represents a major clinical unmet need. Nonhealing skin wounds and undesired scar formation impair quality of life and result in high healthcare expenditure worldwide. The skin-colonizing microbiota contributes to maintaining an intact skin barrier in homeostasis, but it also participates in the pathogenesis of many skin disorders, including aberrant wound healing, in many respects. This review focuses on the composition of the skin microbiome in cutaneous wounds of different types (i.e. acute and chronic) and with different outcomes (i.e. nonhealing and hypertrophic scarring), mainly based on next-generation sequencing analyses; furthermore, we discuss the mechanistic insights into host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions during wound healing. Finally, we highlight potential therapeutic strategies that target the skin microbiome to improve healing outcomes.
    Keywords:  16S Sequencing; Scarring; Skin microbiome; Wound healing
  20. Front Microbiol. 2023 ;14 1292266
      Introduction: Allergic airway diseases are one of the serious health problems in worldwide and allergic airway inflammation is a prerequisite led to the exacerbated situation such as mucus hypersecretion, epithelial barrier damage and microbiota dysbiosis. Because of side effects and low efficiencies of current therapeutics, the need for novel alternatives has been urged. Probiotics in which have diverse and beneficial modulatory effects have been applied to the airway inflammation model and the underlying mechanism needs to be investigated.Methods: We aimed to evaluate whether our target strain, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum APsulloc331261 (GTB1TM) isolated from green tea, can ameliorate allergic airway inflammation in mice and to figure out the mechanism. We induced allergic airway inflammation to mice by ovalbumin (OVA) and administered GTB1 orally and the immune and epithelial barrier markers were assessed. The gut metabolite and microbiota were also analysed, and the in vitro cell-line experiment was introduced to confirm the hypothesis of the study.
    Results: GTB1 ameliorated type 2 inflammation and suppressed mucin hypersecretion with the inhibition of MUC5AC in inflamed mice. Moreover, GTB1 increased the butyrate production and the relative abundance of butyrate producer, Clostridium cluster IV. We assumed that butyrate may have a potential role and investigated the effect of butyrate in mucin regulation via human airway epithelial cell line, A549. Butyrate significantly reduced the gene expression of MUC5AC in A549 cells suggesting its regulatory role in mucus production.
    Conclusion: Therefore, our study demonstrates that the oral administration of GTB1 can ameliorate allergic airway inflammation and mucin hypersecretion by butyrate production.
    Keywords:  MUC5AC; SCFA; allergic asthma; mucus hypersecretion; probiotics
  21. F1000Res. 2023 ;12 1495
      Dysbiosis among oral microbial community in the oral cavity can lead to several oral diseases. Probiotic therapy is known to correct these imbalances. Limosilactobacillus reuteri is one of the most studied strains of probiotics and can control oral microbiota through reuterin, a wide-spectrum antimicrobial agent. The objective of this review was to evaluate the effect of the antimicrobial activity of Limosilactobacillus reuteri on the oral bacteria of humans. This review used PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases as bibliographic resources. Studies with matching keywords were analyzed and screened with PRISMA-ScR recommendations. Sixteen articles were selected for this review, which included a total of 832 patients. Based on this review, Limosilactobacillus reuteri has a strong antibacterial effect against Streptococcus mutans in healthy individuals but is not effective against Lactobacillus. Additionally, it has a significant antibacterial effect against Porphiromonas gingivalis in patients with periodontitis, although its effectiveness is not stable in patients with peri-implant infections. Furthermore, Limosilactobacillus reuterihas varying results against other bacteria, indicating the need for further extensive research to ensure its efficacy.
    Keywords:  Lactobacillus reuteri; Limosilactobacillus reuteri; antimicrobial; dentistry; oral bacteria; oral microbiome; oral probiotic
  22. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2024 Feb 29. pii: S0959-437X(24)00023-6. [Epub ahead of print]85 102174
      Epigenetic memory allows organisms to stably alter their transcriptional program in response to developmental or environmental stimuli. Such transcriptional programs are mediated by heritable regulation of the function of enhancers and promoters. Memory involves read-write systems that enable self-propagation and mitotic inheritance of cis-acting epigenetic marks to induce stable changes in transcription. Also, in response to environmental cues, cells can induce epigenetic transcriptional memory to poise inducible genes for faster induction in the future. Here, we discuss modes of epigenetic inheritance and the molecular basis of epigenetic transcriptional memory.
  23. STAR Protoc. 2024 Mar 06. pii: S2666-1667(24)00104-7. [Epub ahead of print]5(1): 102939
      M1- and M2-like macrophages infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) have been found to differ in their capacity to elicit memory CD4+ T cell activation. Here, we present a protocol to quantify and isolate the subset of human memory CD4+ T cells activated in response to autologous monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) infected with virulent Mtb. We describe steps for CD14+ monocyte isolation, generating MDMs, culturing Mtb and infection of macrophages, and identifying activated CD4+ T cells by flow cytometry. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Gail et al.1.
    Keywords:  Cell isolation; Health Sciences; Immunology; Microbiology
  24. Gut Microbes. 2024 Jan-Dec;16(1):16(1): 2320283
      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition primarily linked to oxidative stress, poses significant health burdens worldwide. Recent evidence has shed light on the association between the dysbiosis of gut microbiota and COPD, and their metabolites have emerged as potential modulators of disease progression through the intricate gut-lung axis. Here, we demonstrate the efficacy of oral administration of the probiotic Pediococcus pentosaceus SMM914 (SMM914) in delaying the progression of COPD by attenuating pulmonary oxidative stress. Specially, SMM914 induces a notable shift in the gut microbiota toward a community structure characterized by an augmented abundance of probiotics producing short-chain fatty acids and antioxidant metabolisms. Concurrently, SMM914 synthesizes L-tryptophanamide, 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, and 3-sulfino-L-alanine, thereby enhancing the tryptophan-melatonin pathway and elevating 6-hydroxymelatonin and hypotaurine in the lung environment. This modulation amplifies the secretion of endogenous anti-inflammatory factors, diminishes macrophage polarization toward the M1 phenotype, and ultimately mitigates the oxidative stress in mice with COPD. The demonstrated efficacy of the probiotic intervention, specifically with SMM914, not only highlights the modulation of intestine microbiota but also emphasizes the consequential impact on the intricate interplay between the gastrointestinal system and respiratory health.
    Keywords:  COPD; Microbial metabolites; gut-lung axis; oxidative stress
  25. Front Med (Lausanne). 2024 ;11 1353784
      Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease in which patients are sensitized towards a plethora of allergens. The hosts fungal microbiota, the mycobiota, that is believed to be altered in patients suffering from AD acts as such an allergen. The correlation context of specific sensitization, changes in mycobiota and its impact on disease severity however remains poorly understood.Objectives: We aim to enhance the understanding of the specific sensitization towards the mycobiota in AD patients in relation to their fungal skin colonization.
    Methods: Sensitization pattern towards the Malassezia spp. and Candida albicans of 16 AD patients and 14 healthy controls (HC) were analyzed with the newly developed multiplex-assay ALEX2® and the established singleplex-assay ImmunoCAP®. We compared these findings with the fungal skin colonization analyzed by DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1).
    Results: Sensitization in general and towards Malassezia spp. and C. albicans is increased in AD patients compared to HC with a quantitative difference in severe AD when compared to mild to moderate AD. Further we saw an association between sensitization towards and skin colonization with Candida spp. yet a negative correlation between sensitization towards and skin colonization with Malassezia spp.
    Conclusion: We conclude that AD in general and severe AD in particular is associated with increased sensitization towards the hosts own mycobiota. There is positive correlation in Candida spp. skin colonization and negative in Malassezia spp. skin colonization when compared to AD, AD severity as well as to specific sensitization patterns.
    Keywords:  Candida spp.; Malassezia spp.; atopic dermatitis; sensitization patterns; skin microbiota
  26. Immune Netw. 2024 Feb;24(1): e2
      Studies over the last 2 decades have identified IL-17 and IL-21 as key cytokines in the modulation of a wide range of immune responses. IL-17 serves as a critical defender against bacterial and fungal pathogens, while maintaining symbiotic relationships with commensal microbiota. However, alterations in its levels can lead to chronic inflammation and autoimmunity. IL-21, on the other hand, bridges the adaptive and innate immune responses, and its imbalance is implicated in autoimmune diseases and cancer, highlighting its important role in both health and disease. Delving into the intricacies of these cytokines not only opens new avenues for understanding the immune system, but also promises innovative advances in the development of therapeutic strategies for numerous diseases. In this review, we will discuss an updated view of the immunobiology and therapeutic potential of IL-17 and IL-21.
    Keywords:  Autoimmune; Cancer; Inflammation; Interleukin-17; Interleukin-21
  27. mSphere. 2024 Mar 06. e0077223
      New molecular approaches to disrupting bacterial infections are needed. The bacterial cell membrane is an essential structure with diverse potential lipid and protein targets for antimicrobials. While rapid lysis of the bacterial cell membrane kills bacteria, lytic compounds are generally toxic to whole animals. In contrast, compounds that subtly damage the bacterial cell membrane could disable a microbe, facilitating pathogen clearance by the immune system with limited compound toxicity. A previously described small molecule, D66, terminates Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) infection of macrophages and reduces tissue colonization in mice. The compound dissipates bacterial inner membrane voltage without rapid cell lysis under broth conditions that permeabilize the outer membrane or disable efflux pumps. In standard media, the cell envelope protects Gram-negative bacteria from D66. We evaluated the activity of D66 in Gram-positive bacteria because their distinct envelope structure, specifically the absence of an outer membrane, could facilitate mechanism of action studies. We observed that D66 inhibited Gram-positive bacterial cell growth, rapidly increased Staphylococcus aureus membrane fluidity, and disrupted membrane voltage while barrier function remained intact. The compound also prevented planktonic staphylococcus from forming biofilms and a disturbed three-dimensional structure in 1-day-old biofilms. D66 furthermore reduced the survival of staphylococcal persister cells and of intracellular S. aureus. These data indicate that staphylococcal cells in multiple growth states germane to infection are susceptible to changes in lipid packing and membrane conductivity. Thus, agents that subtly damage bacterial cell membranes could have utility in preventing or treating disease.IMPORTANCEAn underutilized potential antibacterial target is the cell membrane, which supports or associates with approximately half of bacterial proteins and has a phospholipid makeup distinct from mammalian cell membranes. Previously, an experimental small molecule, D66, was shown to subtly damage Gram-negative bacterial cell membranes and to disrupt infection of mammalian cells. Here, we show that D66 increases the fluidity of Gram-positive bacterial cell membranes, dissipates membrane voltage, and inhibits the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus in several infection-relevant growth states. Thus, compounds that cause membrane damage without lysing cells could be useful for mitigating infections caused by S. aureus.
    Keywords:  Bacillus subtills; Gram-positive bacteria; S. epidermidis; Salmonella enterica; Staphylococcus aureus; biofilm; membrane; persister cells; voltage
  28. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2024 Mar 07. e0005222
      SUMMARYGroup A Streptococcus (GAS), also known as Streptococcus pyogenes, is a clinically well-adapted human pathogen that harbors rich virulence determinants contributing to a broad spectrum of diseases. GAS is capable of invading epithelial, endothelial, and professional phagocytic cells while evading host innate immune responses, including phagocytosis, selective autophagy, light chain 3-associated phagocytosis, and inflammation. However, without a more complete understanding of the different ways invasive GAS infections develop, it is difficult to appreciate how GAS survives and multiplies in host cells that have interactive immune networks. This review article attempts to provide an overview of the behaviors and mechanisms that allow pathogenic GAS to invade cells, along with the strategies that host cells practice to constrain GAS infection. We highlight the counteractions taken by GAS to apply virulence factors such as streptolysin O, nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotidase, and streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B as a hindrance to host innate immune responses.
    Keywords:  LC3-associated phagocytosis; autophagy; complement system; group A Streptococcus; inflammation; innate immunity; phagocytosis; pyroptosis
  29. Int Immunol. 2024 Mar 05. pii: dxae013. [Epub ahead of print]
      This review article delves into the complexities of granuloma formation, focusing on the metabolic reprogramming within these immune structures, especially in tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. It underscores the role of the monocyte-macrophage lineage in granuloma formation and maintenance, emphasizing the adaptability of these cells to environmental cues and inflammatory stimuli. Key to the discussion is the macrophage polarization influenced by various cytokines, with a detailed exploration of the metabolic shifts towards glycolysis under hypoxic conditions and the utilization of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) for crucial biosynthetic processes. Significant attention is given to the metabolism of L-arginine in macrophages and its impact on immune response and granuloma function. The review also highlights the role of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in macrophage differentiation and its implications in granulomatous diseases. Discoveries such as elevated PPP activity in granuloma-associated macrophages and the protective role of NADPH against oxidative stress offer novel insights into granuloma biology. The review concludes by suggesting potential therapeutic targets within these metabolic pathways to modulate granuloma formation and function, proposing new treatment avenues for conditions characterized by chronic inflammation and granuloma formation. This work contributes significantly to the understanding of immune regulation and chronic inflammation, presenting avenues for future research and therapy in granulomatous diseases.
    Keywords:  FBP-1; TREM2; pentose phosphate pathway; sarcoidosis
  30. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1357967
      Neutrophils are innate immune cells that have a vital role in host defense systems. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are one of neutrophils' defense mechanisms against pathogens. NETs comprise an ejected lattice of chromatin associated with histones, granular proteins, and cytosolic proteins. They are thought to be an efficient strategy to capture and/or kill bacteria and received intensive research interest in the recent years. However, soon after NETs were identified, it was observed that certain bacteria were able to evade NET entrapment through many different mechanisms. Here, we outline the recent progress of NETs in bacterial infections and the strategies employed by bacteria to evade or withstand NETs. Identifying the molecules and mechanisms that modulate NET release will improve our understanding of the functions of NETs in infections and provide new avenues for the prevention and treatment of bacterial diseases.
    Keywords:  DNase; NETs evasion; bacterial infection; mycoplasma; neutrophil; neutrophil extracellular traps
  31. Nature. 2024 Mar 06.
      The fungus Candida albicans frequently colonizes the human gastrointestinal tract, from which it can disseminate to cause systemic disease. This polymorphic species can transition between growing as single-celled yeast and as multicellular hyphae to adapt to its environment. The current dogma of C. albicans commensalism is that the yeast form is optimal for gut colonization, whereas hyphal cells are detrimental to colonization but critical for virulence1-3. Here, we reveal that this paradigm does not apply to multi-kingdom communities in which a complex interplay between fungal morphology and bacteria dictates C. albicans fitness. Thus, whereas yeast-locked cells outcompete wild-type cells when gut bacteria are absent or depleted by antibiotics, hyphae-competent wild-type cells outcompete yeast-locked cells in hosts with replete bacterial populations. This increased fitness of wild-type cells involves the production of hyphal-specific factors including the toxin candidalysin4,5, which promotes the establishment of colonization. At later time points, adaptive immunity is engaged, and intestinal immunoglobulin A preferentially selects against hyphal cells1,6. Hyphal morphotypes are thus under both positive and negative selective pressures in the gut. Our study further shows that candidalysin has a direct inhibitory effect on bacterial species, including limiting their metabolic output. We therefore propose that C. albicans has evolved hyphal-specific factors, including candidalysin, to better compete with bacterial species in the intestinal niche.
  32. Eur J Cell Biol. 2024 Feb 28. pii: S0171-9335(24)00018-9. [Epub ahead of print]103(2): 151401
      The facultative intracellular bacterium Listeria (L.) monocytogenes may cause severe diseases in humans and animals. The control of listeriosis/L. monocytogenes requires the concerted action of cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems. In this regard, cell-intrinsic immunity of infected cells, activated by the immune responses, is crucial for the control and elimination intracellular L. monocytogenes. Both the immune response against L. monocytogenes and cell intrinsic pathogen control are critically regulated by post-translational modifications exerted by the host ubiquitin system and ubiquitin-like modifiers (Ubls). In this review, we discuss our current understanding of the role of the ubiquitin system and Ubls in listeriosis, as well as future directions of research.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Listeria monocytogenes immune response; SUMO; Ubiquitin; Ubiquitin-like modifiers
  33. J Bacteriol. 2024 Mar 08. e0041823
      Staphylococcus aureus poses a serious global threat to human health due to its pathogenic nature, adaptation to environmental stress, high virulence, and the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance. The signaling network in S. aureus coordinates and integrates various internal and external inputs and stimuli to adapt and formulate a response to the environment. Two-component systems (TCSs) of S. aureus play a central role in this network where surface-expressed histidine kinases (HKs) receive and relay external signals to their cognate response regulators (RRs). Despite the purported high fidelity of signaling, crosstalk within TCSs, between HK and non-cognate RR, and between TCSs and other systems has been detected widely in bacteria. The examples of crosstalk in S. aureus are very limited, and there needs to be more understanding of its molecular recognition mechanisms, although some crosstalk can be inferred from similar bacterial systems that share structural similarities. Understanding the cellular processes mediated by this crosstalk and how it alters signaling, especially under stress conditions, may help decipher the emergence of antibiotic resistance. This review highlights examples of signaling crosstalk in bacteria in general and S. aureus in particular, as well as the effect of TCS mutations on signaling and crosstalk.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; antibiotic resistance; crosstalk; signaling; two-component systems
  34. PLoS Pathog. 2024 Mar 07. 20(3): e1012072
      Streptococcus pyogenes is a human-specific pathogen that commonly colonizes the upper respiratory tract and skin, causing a wide variety of diseases ranging from pharyngitis to necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome. S. pyogenes has a repertoire of secreted virulence factors that promote infection and evasion of the host immune system including the cytolysins streptolysin O (SLO) and streptolysin S (SLS). S. pyogenes does not naturally infect the upper respiratory tract of mice although mice transgenic for MHC class II human leukocyte antigens (HLA) become highly susceptible. Here we used HLA-transgenic mice to assess the role of both SLO and SLS during both nasopharyngeal and skin infection. Using S. pyogenes MGAS8232 as a model strain, we found that an SLS-deficient strain exhibited a 100-fold reduction in bacterial recovery from the nasopharynx and a 10-fold reduction in bacterial burden in the skin, whereas an SLO-deficient strain did not exhibit any infection defects in these models. Furthermore, depletion of neutrophils significantly restored the bacterial burden of the SLS-deficient bacteria in skin, but not in the nasopharynx. In mice nasally infected with the wildtype S. pyogenes, there was a marked change in localization of the tight junction protein ZO-1 at the site of infection, demonstrating damage to the nasal epithelia that was absent in mice infected with the SLS-deficient strain. Overall, we conclude that SLS is required for the establishment of nasopharyngeal infection and skin infection in HLA-transgenic mice by S. pyogenes MGAS8232 and provide evidence that SLS contributes to nasopharyngeal infection through the localized destruction of nasal epithelia.
  35. Trends Microbiol. 2024 Mar 04. pii: S0966-842X(24)00049-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Many pathogens are hard to eradicate, even in the absence of genetically detectable antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and despite proven antibiotic susceptibility. The fraction of clonal bacteria that temporarily elude effective antibiotic treatments is commonly known as 'antibiotic persisters.' Over the past decade, there has been a growing body of research highlighting the pivotal role played by the cellular host in the development of persisters. In parallel, this research has also sought to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of intracellular antibiotic persisters and has demonstrated a prominent role for the bacterial stress response. However, questions remain regarding the conditions leading to the formation of stress-induced persisters among a clonal population of intracellular bacteria and despite an ostensibly uniform environment. In this opinion, following a brief review of the current state of knowledge regarding intracellular antibiotic persisters, we explore the ways in which macrophage functional heterogeneity and bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity may contribute to the emergence of these persisters. We propose that the degree of mismatch between the macrophage permissiveness and the bacterial preparedness to invade and thrive intracellularly may explain the formation of stress-induced nonreplicating intracellular persisters.
    Keywords:  antibiotic persisters; functionality; heterogeneity; infection; macrophage; stress
  36. J Innate Immun. 2024 Mar 05.
      Background Although substantial efforts have been made by researchers to develop drugs, a disappointing reality is that the emergence of drug resistance is an unavoidable reality for the majority of patients. In recent years, emerging evidence suggests a connection between drug resistance and immune dysregulation. Summary As a ubiquitously distributed, versatile innate immune cell, macrophages play essential roles in maintaining tissue homeostasis in steady state. Nevertheless, it is becoming aware that macrophages undermine the action of therapeutic drugs across various disease types. Reprogramming macrophage function has been proven to be effective in restoring patient responsiveness to treatment. Herein, we comprehensively reviewed how macrophages respond to drugs and the mechanisms by which they contribute to treatment unresponsiveness in cancer, inflammatory diseases, and metabolic diseases. In addition, future prospects in macrophage-based combination therapy were discussed. Key Messages Targeting macrophages is a promising strategy for overcoming drug resistance in immune disorders.
  37. Food Sci Nutr. 2024 Mar;12(3): 2192-2194
      The current investigation provides a summary of the available clinical trials using probiotics as therapeutic worldwide and their fate.
    Keywords:  FDA; clinical trials; microbiota; probiotics
  38. Infect Immun. 2024 Mar 04. e0047823
      Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus, GBS) is a Gram-positive bacterial species that causes disease in humans across the lifespan. While antibiotics are used to mitigate GBS infections, it is evident that antibiotics disrupt human microbiomes (which can predispose people to other diseases later in life), and antibiotic resistance in GBS is on the rise. Taken together, these unintended negative impacts of antibiotics highlight the need for precision approaches for minimizing GBS disease. One possible approach involves selectively depleting GBS in its commensal niches before it can cause disease at other body sites or be transmitted to at-risk individuals. One understudied commensal niche of GBS is the adult gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which may predispose colonization at other body sites in individuals at risk for GBS disease. However, a better understanding of the host-, microbiome-, and GBS-determined variables that dictate GBS GI carriage is needed before precise GI decolonization approaches can be developed. In this review, we synthesize current knowledge of the diverse body sites occupied by GBS as a pathogen and as a commensal. We summarize key molecular factors GBS utilizes to colonize different host-associated niches to inform future efforts to study GBS in the GI tract. We also discuss other GI commensals that are pathogenic in other body sites to emphasize the broader utility of precise de-colonization approaches for mitigating infections by GBS and other bacterial pathogens. Finally, we highlight how GBS treatments could be improved with a more holistic understanding of GBS enabled by continued GI-focused study.
    Keywords:  Streptococcus agalactiae; gut microbiome; human microbiome; microbial ecology; pathogenesis
  39. J Exp Biol. 2024 Mar 07. pii: jeb246158. [Epub ahead of print]227(Suppl_1):
      Whether specific immune protection after initial pathogen exposure (immune memory) occurs in invertebrates has long been uncertain. The absence of antibodies, B-cells and T-cells, and the short lifespans of invertebrates led to the hypothesis that immune memory does not occur in these organisms. However, research in the past two decades has supported the existence of immune memory in several invertebrate groups, including Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Nematoda, Mollusca and Arthropoda. Interestingly, some studies have demonstrated immune memory that is specific to the parasite strain. Nonetheless, other work does not provide support for immune memory in invertebrates or offers only partial support. Moreover, the expected biphasic immune response, a characteristic of adaptive immune memory in vertebrates, varies within and between invertebrate species. This variation may be attributed to the influence of biotic or abiotic factors, particularly parasites, on the outcome of immune memory. Despite its critical importance for survival, the role of phenotypic plasticity in immune memory has not been systematically examined in the past two decades. Additionally, the features of immune responses occurring in diverse environments have yet to be fully characterized.
    Keywords:  Ecoimmunology; Host–parasite relationship; Immune response; Phenotypic plasticity; Trained immunity
  40. NPJ Vaccines. 2024 Mar 08. 9(1): 55
      The quest for effective and enhanced multiantigenic tuberculosis (TB) subunit vaccine necessitates the induction of a protective pathogen-specific immune response while circumventing detrimental inflammation within the lung milieu. In line with this goal, we engineered a modified iteration of the quadrivalent vaccine, namely HSP90-ESAT-6-HspX-RipA (HEHR), which was coupled with the TLR4 adjuvant, CIA09A. The ensuing formulation was subjected to comprehensive assessment to gauge its protective efficacy against the hypervirulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) Haarlem clinical strain M2, following a BCG-prime boost regimen. Regardless of vaccination route, both intramuscular and subcutaneous administration with the HEHR vaccine exhibited remarkable protective efficacy in significantly reducing the Mtb bacterial burden and pulmonary inflammation. This underscores its notably superior protective potential compared to the BCG vaccine alone or a former prototype, the HSP90-E6 subunit vaccine. In addition, this superior protective efficacy was confirmed when testing a tag-free version of the HEHR vaccine. Furthermore, the protective immune determinant, represented by durable antigen-specific CD4+IFN-γ+IL-17A+ T-cells expressing a CXCR3+KLRG1- cell surface phenotype in the lung, was robustly induced in HEHR-boosted mice at 12 weeks post-challenge. Collectively, our data suggest that the BCG-prime HEHR boost vaccine regimen conferred improved and long-term protection against hypervirulent Mtb strain with robust antigen-specific Th1/Th17 responses.
  41. ACS Infect Dis. 2024 Mar 05.
      The escalation of bacterial resistance against existing therapeutic antimicrobials has reached a critical peak, leading to the rapid emergence of multidrug-resistant strains. Stringent pathways in novel drug discovery hinder our progress in this survival race. A promising approach to combat emerging antibiotic resistance involves enhancing conventional ineffective antimicrobials using low-toxicity small molecule adjuvants. Recent research interest lies in weak membrane-perturbing agents with unique cyclic hydrophobic components, addressing a significant gap in antimicrobial drug exploration. Our study demonstrates that quinoline-based amphipathic small molecules, SG-B-52 and SG-B-22, significantly reduce MICs of selected beta-lactam antibiotics (ampicillin and amoxicillin) against lethal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Mechanistically, membrane perturbation, depolarization, and ROS generation drive cellular lysis and death. These molecules display minimal in vitro and in vivo toxicity, showcased through hemolysis assays, cell cytotoxicity analysis, and studies on albino Wistar rats. SG-B-52 exhibits impressive biofilm-clearing abilities against MRSA biofilms, proposing a strategy to enhance beta-lactam antibiosis and encouraging the development of potent antimicrobial potentiators.
    Keywords:  antibiotic adjuvants; antimicrobial resistance; membrane disruption; quinolines; small molecules; superbugs
  42. Cell Mol Immunol. 2024 Mar 06.
      The overexpression of sialic acids on glycans, called hypersialylation, is a common alteration found in cancer cells. Sialylated glycans can enhance immune evasion by interacting with sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec) receptors on tumor-infiltrating immune cells. Here, we investigated the effect of sialylated glycans and their interaction with Siglec receptors on myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). We found that MDSCs derived from the blood of lung cancer patients and tumor-bearing mice strongly express inhibitory Siglec receptors and are highly sialylated. In murine cancer models of emergency myelopoiesis, Siglec-E knockout in myeloid cells resulted in prolonged survival and increased tumor infiltration of activated T cells. Targeting suppressive myeloid cells by blocking Siglec receptors or desialylation strongly reduced their suppressive potential. We further identified CCL2 as a mediator involved in T-cell suppression upon interaction between sialoglycans and Siglec receptors on MDSCs. Our results demonstrated that sialylated glycans inhibit anticancer immunity by modulating CCL2 expression.
    Keywords:  Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin; myeloid derived suppressor cells; sialoglycans; tumor microenvironment
  43. Mediators Inflamm. 2024 ;2024 8869510
      Inflammation is a complex host defensive response against various disease-associated pathogens. A baseline extent of inflammation is supposed to be tightly associated with a sequence of immune-modulated processes, resulting in the protection of the host organism against pathogen invasion; however, as a matter of fact is that an uncontrolled inflammatory cascade is the main factor responsible for the host damage, accordingly suggesting a significant and indispensable involvement of negative feedback mechanism in modulation of inflammation. Evidence accumulated so far has supported a repressive effect of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway on microbial-triggered inflammation via diverse mechanisms, although that consequence is dependent on the cellular context, types of stimuli, and cytokine environment. It is of particular interest and importance to comprehend the precise way in which the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is activated, due to its essential anti-inflammatory properties. It is assumed that an inflammatory milieu is necessary for initiating and activating this signaling, implying that Wnt activity is responsible for shielding tissues from overwhelming inflammation, thus sustaining a balanced physiological condition against bacterial infection. This review gathers the recent efforts to elucidate the mechanistic details through how Wnt/β-catenin signaling modulates anti-inflammatory responses in response to bacterial infection and its interactions with other inflammatory signals, which warrants further study for the development of specific interventions for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Further clinical trials from different disease settings are required.
  44. Carbohydr Polym. 2024 May 15. pii: S0144-8617(24)00131-0. [Epub ahead of print]332 121905
      Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), as a class of biopolymers, play pivotal roles in various biological metabolisms such as cell signaling, tissue development, cell apoptosis, immune modulation, and growth factor activity. They are mainly present in the colon in free forms, which are essential for maintaining the host's health by regulating the colonization and proliferation of gut microbiota. Therefore, it is important to explain the specific members of the gut microbiota for GAGs' degradation and their enzymatic machinery in vivo. This review provides an outline of GAGs-utilizing entities in the Bacteroides, highlighting their polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) and the enzymatic machinery involved in chondroitin sulfate (CS) and heparin (Hep)/heparan sulfate (HS). While there are some variations in GAGs' degradation among different genera, we analyze the reputed GAGs' utilization clusters in lactic acid bacteria (LAB), based on recent studies on GAGs' degradation. The enzymatic machinery involved in Hep/HS and CS metabolism within LAB is also discussed. Thus, to elucidate the precise mechanisms utilizing GAGs by diverse gut microbiota will augment our understanding of their effects on human health and contribute to potential therapeutic strategies for diseases.
    Keywords:  Bacteroides; Enzymatic machinery; Glycosaminoglycans; Lactic acid bacteria; Polysaccharide utilization loci
  45. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2024 Mar 05. pii: fiae029. [Epub ahead of print]
      Microbial communities are not only shaped by the diversity of microorganisms and their individual metabolic potential, but also by the vast amount of intra- and interspecies interactions that can occur pairwise interactions among microorganisms, we suggest that more attention should be drawn towards the effects on the entire microbiome that emerge from individual interactions between community members. The production of certain metabolites that can be tied to a specific microbe-microbe interaction might subsequently influence the physicochemical parameters of the habitat, stimulate a change in the trophic network of the community or create new micro-habitats through the formation of biofilms, similar to the production of antimicrobial substances which might negatively affect only one microorganism but cause a ripple effect on the abundance of other community members. Here, we argue that combining established as well as innovative laboratory and computational methods is needed to predict novel interactions and assess their secondary effects. Such efforts will enable future microbiome studies to expand our knowledge on the dynamics of complex microbial communities.
    Keywords:  Microbial interactions; community dynamics; microbiome research; secondary effects
  46. Microbiome Res Rep. 2024 ;3(1): 7
      The composition and function of the gut microbiota constantly influence health. Disruptions in this delicate balance, termed gut microbiota dysbiosis, have been implicated in various adverse health events. As the largest global epidemic since 1918, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had devastating consequences. While the primary impact of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been on the respiratory system, a growing body of research has unveiled the significant involvement of the gastrointestinal tract as well. Emerging evidence underscores notable alterations in the gut microbiome of COVID-19 patients. In addition, the gut microbiome is also characterized by an abundance of opportunistic pathogens, which is related to disease manifestations of COVID-19 patients. The intricate bidirectional interaction between the respiratory mucosa and the gut microbiota, known as the gut-lung axis, emerges as a crucial player in the pathological immune response triggered by SARS-CoV-2. Here, we discuss microbiota-based gut characteristics of COVID-19 patients and the long-term consequences of gut microbiota dysregulation. These insights could potentially transform the development of long-term interventions for COVID-19, offering hope for improved outcomes and enhanced patient recovery.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; gut microbiome; gut-lung axis; immunity; inflammation
  47. Infect Immun. 2024 Mar 07. e0049523
      Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infects up to a quarter of the world's population. Although immune responses can control Mtb infection, 5%-10% of infected individuals can progress to active TB disease (progressors). A myriad of host factors regulate disease progression in TB and a better understanding of immune correlates of protection and disease is pivotal for the development of new therapeutics. Comparison of human whole blood transcriptomic metadata with that of macaque TB progressors and Mtb-infected diversity outbred mice (DO) led to the identification of differentially regulated gene (DEG) signatures, associated with TB progression or control. The current study assessed the function of Phospholipase C epsilon (PLCƐ1), the top downregulated gene across species in TB progressors, using a gene-specific knockout mouse model of Mtb infection and in vitro Mtb-infected bone marrow-derived macrophages. PLCƐ1 gene expression was downregulated in TB progressors across species. PLCε1 deficiency in the mouse model resulted in increased susceptibility to Mtb infection, coincident accumulation of lung myeloid cells, and reduced ability to mount antibacterial responses. However, PLCε1 was not required for the activation and accumulation of T cells in mice. Our results suggest an important early role for PLCƐ1 in shaping innate immune response to TB and may represent a putative target for host-directed therapy.
    Keywords:  1-phosphatidylinositol-4; 5-bisphosphate phosphodiesterase epsilon-1 (PLCƐ1); tuberculosis
  48. Front Microbiol. 2024 ;15 1370818
      Bacteria are the most prevalent form of microorganisms and are classified into two categories based on their mode of existence: intracellular and extracellular. While most bacteria are beneficial to human health, others are pathogenic and can cause mild to severe infections. These bacteria use various mechanisms to evade host immunity and cause diseases in humans. The susceptibility of a host to bacterial infection depends on the effectiveness of the immune system, overall health, and genetic factors. Malnutrition, chronic illnesses, and age-related vulnerabilities are the additional confounders to disease severity phenotypes. The impact of bacterial pathogens on public health includes the transmission of these pathogens from healthcare facilities, which contributes to increased morbidity and mortality. To identify the most significant threats to public health, it is crucial to understand the global burden of common bacterial pathogens and their pathogenicity. This knowledge is required to improve immunization rates, improve the effectiveness of vaccines, and consider the impact of antimicrobial resistance when assessing the situation. Many bacteria have developed antimicrobial resistance, which has significant implications for infectious diseases and favors the survival of resilient microorganisms. This review emphasizes the significance of understanding the bacterial pathogens that cause this health threat on a global scale.
    Keywords:  AMR; bacteria; disease severity; host susceptibility; immune response