METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A persistent infection was generated using a small-colony variant (SCV) and a wild-type (WT) B. pseudomallei in BALB/c mice via intranasal administration. Infected mice that survived for >60 days were sacrificed. Lungs, livers, spleens, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were harvested for experimental investigations. Histopathological changes of organs were observed in the infected mice, suggestive of successful establishment of persistent infections. Moreover, natural killer (NK) cell frequency was increased in SCV- and WT-infected mice. We observed programmed death-1 (PD-1) upregulation on B cells of SCV- and WT-infected mice. Interestingly, PD-1 upregulation was only observed on NK cells and monocytes of SCV-infected mice. In contrast, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) downregulation was seen on NK cells of WT-infected mice, and on monocytes of SCV- and WT-infected mice.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The SCV and the WT of B. pseudomallei distinctly upregulated PD-1 expression on B cells, NK cells, and monocytes to dampen host immunity, which likely facilitates bacterial persistence. PD-1/PD-L1 pathway appears to play an important role in the persistence of B. pseudomallei in the host.
METHODS: In this study, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) was performed on clinical B. pseudomallei isolates collected from Kelantan state of Malaysia, patients' clinical data were reviewed and then genotype-risk correlations were investigated.
RESULTS: Genotyping of 83 B. pseudomallei isolates revealed 32 different STs, of which 13(40%) were novel. The frequencies of the STs among the 83 isolates ranged from 1 to 12 observations, and ST54, ST371 and ST289 were predominant. All non-novel STs reported in this study have also been identified in other Asian countries. Based on the MLST data analysis, the phylogenetic tree showed clustering of the STs with each other, as well as with the STs from Southeast Asia and China. No evidence for associations between any of B. pseudomallei STs and clinical melioidosis presentation was detected. In addition, the bacterial genotype clusters in relation with each clinical outcome were statistically insignificant, and no risk estimate was reported. This study has expanded the data for B. pseudomallei on MLST database map and provided insights into the molecular epidemiology of melioidosis in Peninsular Malaysia.
CONCLUSION: This study concurs with previous reports concluding that infecting strain type plays no role in determining disease presentation.