Immunological signatures after Bordetella pertussis infection demonstrate importance of pulmonary innate immune cells

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Effective immunity against Bordetella pertussis is currently under discussion following the stacking evidence of pertussis resurgence in the vaccinated population. Natural immunity is more effective than vaccine-induced immunity indicating that knowledge on infectioninduced responses may contribute to improve vaccination strategies. We applied a systems biology approach comprising microarray, flow cytometry and multiplex immunoassays to unravel the molecular and cellular signatures in unprotected mice and protected mice with infection-induced immunity, around a B. pertussis challenge. Pre-existing systemic memory Th1/Th17 cells, memory B-cells, and mucosal IgA specific for Ptx, Vag8, Fim2/3 were detected in the protected mice 56 days after an experimental infection. In addition, preexisting high activity and reactivation of pulmonary innate cells such as alveolar macrophages, M-cells and goblet cells was detected. The pro-inflammatory responses in the lungs and serum, and neutrophil recruitment in the spleen upon an infectious challenge of unprotected mice were absent in protected mice. Instead, fast pulmonary immune responses in protected mice led to efficient bacterial clearance and harbored potential new gene markers that contribute to immunity against B. pertussis. These responses comprised of innate makers, such as Clca3, Retlna, Glycam1, Gp2, and Umod, next to adaptive markers, such as CCR6+ B-cells, CCR6+ Th17 cells and CXCR6+ T-cells as demonstrated by transcriptome analysis. In conclusion, besides effective Th1/Th17 and mucosal IgA responses, the primary infection-induced immunity benefits from activation of pulmonary resident innate immune cells, achieved by local pathogen-recognition. These molecular signatures of primary infection-induced immunity provided potential markers to improve vaccine-induced immunity against B. pertussis.




Raeven, R. H. M., Brummelman, J., Van Der Maas, L., Tilstra, W., Pennings, J. L. A., Han, W. G. H., … Metz, B. (2016). Immunological signatures after Bordetella pertussis infection demonstrate importance of pulmonary innate immune cells. PLoS ONE, 11(10).

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