The acquired immune response against tuberculosis is commonly associated with T-cell responses with little known about the role of B cells or antibodies. There have been suggestions that B cells and humoral immunity can modulate the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, the mechanisms involving B-cell responses in M. tuberculosis are not fully understood, in particular the antibody gene preferences. We hypothesized that a preferential use of V genes can be seen associated with resistance to infection mainly in the IgA isotype, which is of prominent importance for infection by pathogens via the mucosal route. We studied healthy individuals with long-term exposure to tuberculosis, infected (TST(+) ) and uninfected TST(-) ) with M. tuberculosis. From a total of 22 V genes analysed, the TST(-) population preferred the VH 3-23 and Vκ1 genes. The VH 3-23 genes were subsequently subjected to 454 amplicon sequencing. The TST(-) population showed a higher frequency of the D3-10 segment compared with the D3-22 segment for the TST(+) population. The J segment usage pattern was similar for both populations with J4 segment being used the most. A preferential pairing of J4 segments to D3-3 was seen for the TST(-) population. The antibodyome difference between both populations suggests a preference for antibodies with VH 3-23, D3-3, JH 4 gene usage by the TST(-) population that could be associated with resistance to infection with M. tuberculosis.
Diabetes mellitus is a predisposing factor of melioidosis, contributing to higher mortality rates in diabetics infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei. To investigate how diabetes alters the inflammatory response, we established a streptozotocin (STZ) -induced diabetic murine acute-phase melioidosis model. Viable B. pseudomallei cells were consistently detected in the blood, liver and spleen during the 42-hr course of infection but the hyperglycaemic environment did not increase the bacterial burden. However, after 24 hr, granulocyte counts increased in response to infection, whereas blood glucose concentrations decreased over the course of infection. A genome-wide expression analysis of the STZ-diabetic murine acute melioidosis liver identified ~1000 genes whose expression was altered in the STZ-diabetic mice. The STZ-diabetic host transcriptional response was compared with the normoglycaemic host transcriptional response recently reported by our group. The microarray data suggest that the presence of elevated glucose levels impairs the host innate immune system by delaying the identification and recognition of B. pseudomallei surface structures. Consequently, the host is unable to activate the appropriate innate immune response over time, which may explain the increased susceptibility to melioidosis in the STZ-diabetic host. Nevertheless, a general 'alarm signal' of infection as well as defence programmes are still triggered by the STZ-diabetic host, although only 24 hr after infection. In summary, this study demonstrates that in the face of a B. pseudomallei acute infection, poor glycaemic control impaired innate responses during the early stages of B. pseudomallei infection, contributing to the increased susceptibility of STZ-induced diabetics to this fatal disease.
Among their diverse roles as transcriptional regulators during development and cell fate specification, the RUNX transcription factors are best known for the parts they play in haematopoiesis. RUNX proteins are expressed throughout all haematopoietic lineages, being necessary for the emergence of the first haematopoietic stem cells to their terminal differentiation. Although much progress has been made since their discoveries almost two decades ago, current appreciation of RUNX in haematopoiesis is largely grounded in their lineage-specifying roles. In contrast, the importance of RUNX to immunity has been mostly obscured for historic, technical and conceptual reasons. However, this paradigm is likely to shift over time, as a primary purpose of haematopoiesis is to resource the immune system. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests a role for RUNX in the innate immunity of non-haematopoietic cells. This review takes a haematopoiesis-centric approach to collate what is known of RUNX's contribution to the overall mammalian immune system and discuss their growing prominence in areas such as autoimmunity, inflammatory diseases and mucosal immunity.
Three bacterial species of Clostridium (septicum, tertium and sporogenes) were identified to produce extracellular proteases cleaving IgA to Fab and Fc fragments, as demonstrated by SDS-PAGE and immunoelectrophoretic procedures. These enzymes acted on monometric IgA1 paraproteins and normal serum IgA1 but had no activity on IgA2 paraproteins and intact secretory IgA1 from human colostrum. Their action on polyclonal serum IgA1 suggested the absence of neutralizing anti-clostridial IgA protease activity. Although the enzymes were shown not to act on secretory IgA1, they were, however, able to digest free alpha-heavy chains of the dimeric IgA molecules. Susceptibility of the alpha-heavy chain to the proteases was more likely due to the change to a more accessible conformation than because of the absence of neutralizing anti-enzymic activity.
Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) interact with polymorphic human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules, modulating natural killer (NK) cell functions and affecting both the susceptibility and outcome of immune-mediated diseases. The KIR locus is highly diverse in gene content, copy number and allelic polymorphism within individuals and across geographical populations. To analyse currently under-represented Asian and Pacific populations, we investigated the combinatorial diversity of KIR and HLA class I in 92 unrelated Malay and 75 Malaysian Chinese individuals from the Malay Peninsula. We identified substantial allelic and structural diversity of the KIR locus in both populations and characterized novel variations at each analysis level. The Malay population is more diverse than Malay Chinese, likely representing a unique history including admixture with immigrating populations spanning several thousand years. Characterizing the Malay population are KIR haplotypes with large structural variants present in 10% individuals, and KIR and HLA alleles previously identified in Austronesian populations. Despite the differences in ancestries, the proportion of HLA allotypes that serve as KIR ligands is similar in each population. The exception is a significantly reduced frequency of interactions of KIR2DL1 with C2+ HLA-C in the Malaysian Chinese group, caused by the low frequency of C2+ HLA. One likely implication is a greater protection from preeclampsia, a pregnancy disorder associated with KIR2DL1, which shows higher incidence in the Malay than in the Malaysian Chinese. This first complete, high-resolution, characterization of combinatorial diversity of KIR and HLA in Malaysians will form a valuable reference for future clinical and population studies.
Nipah virus (NiV) causes severe encephalitis in humans. Three NiV strains NiV-Malaysia (NiVM ), NiV Bangladesh (NiVB ), and NiV India (NiVI reported in 2019) have been circulating in South-Asian nations. Sporadic outbreak observed in South-East Asian countries but human to human transmission raises the concern about its pandemic potential. The presence of the viral genome in reservoir bats has further confirmed that NiV has spread to the African and Australian continents. NiV research activities have gained momentum to achieve specific preparedness goals to meet any future emergency-as a result, several potential vaccine candidates have been developed and tested in a variety of animal models. Some of these candidate vaccines have entered further clinical trials. Research activities related to the discovery of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have resulted in the identification of a handful of candidates capable of neutralizing the virion. However, progress in discovering potential antiviral drugs has been limited. Thus, considering NiV's pandemic potential, it is crucial to fast-track ongoing projects related to vaccine clinical trials, anti-NiV therapeutics. Here, we discuss the current progress in NiV-vaccine research and therapeutic options, including mAbs and antiviral medications.