Nontypeable haemophilus influenzae initiates formation of neutrophil extracellular traps

Academic Article


  • Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is a leading cause of otitis media infections, which are often chronic and/or recurrent in nature. NTHI and other bacterial species persist in vivo within biofilms during otitis media and other persistent infections. These biofilms have a significant host component that includes neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). These NETs do not mediate clearance of NTHI, which survives within NET structures by means of specific subpopulations of lipooligosaccharides on the bacterial surface that are determinants of biofilm formation in vitro. In this study, the ability of NTHI and NTHI components to initiate NET formation was examined using an in vitro model system. Both viable and nonviable NTHI strains were shown to promote NET formation, as did preparations of bacterial DNA, outer membrane proteins, and lipooligosaccharide (endotoxin). However, only endotoxin from a parental strain of NTHI exhibited equivalent potency in NET formation to that of NTHI. Additional studies showed that NTHI entrapped within NET structures is resistant to both extracellular killing within NETs and phagocytic killing by incoming neutrophils, due to oligosaccharide moieties within the lipooligosaccharides. Thus, we concluded that NTHI elicits NET formation by means of multiple pathogen-associated molecular patterns (most notably endotoxin) and is highly resistant to killing within NET structures. These data support the conclusion that, for NTHI, formation of NET structures may be a persistence determinant by providing a niche within the middle-ear chamber. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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    Author List

  • Juneau RA; Pang B; Weimer KWD; Armbruster CE; Swords WE
  • Start Page

  • 431
  • End Page

  • 438
  • Volume

  • 79
  • Issue

  • 1