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© Research
Publication : Clinical and experimental immunology

Differences in virulence and immune response induced in a murine model by isolates of Mycobacterium ulcerans from different geographic areas

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Clinical and experimental immunology - 01 Aug 2009

Ortiz RH, Leon DA, Estevez HO, Martin A, Herrera JL, Romo LF, Portaels F, Pando RH

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19604267

Clin. Exp. Immunol. 2009 Aug;157(2):271-81

Buruli ulcer (BU) is the third most common mycobacterial disease in immunocompetent hosts. BU is caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, which produces skin ulcers and necrosis at the site of infection. The principal virulence factor of M. ulcerans is a polyketide-derived macrolide named mycolactone, which has cytotoxic and immunosuppressive activities. We determined the severity of inflammation, histopathology and bacillary loads in the subcutaneous footpad tissue of BALB/c mice infected with 11 different M. ulcerans isolates from diverse geographical areas. Strains from Africa (Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast) induced the highest inflammation, necrosis and bacillary loads, whereas the strains collected from Australia, Asia (Japan, Malaysia, New Guinea), Europe (France) and America (Mexico) induced mild inflammation. Subsequently, animals were infected with the strain that exhibited the highest (Benin) or lowest (Mexico) level of virulence in order to analyse the local immune response generated. The Mexican strain, which does not produce mycolactone, induced a predominantly T helper type 1 (Th1) cytokine profile with constant high expression of the anti-microbial peptides beta defensins 3 and 4, in co-existence with low expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-10, IL-4 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta. The highly virulent strain from Benin which produces mycolactone A/B induced the opposite pattern. Thus, different local immune responses were found depending on the infecting M. ulcerans strain.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19604267