The role of viral, host, and secondary bacterial factors in influenza pathogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Influenza A virus infections in humans generally cause self-limited infections, but can result in severe disease, secondary bacterial pneumonias, and death. Influenza viruses can replicate in epithelial cells throughout the respiratory tree and can cause tracheitis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, diffuse alveolar damage with pulmonary edema and hemorrhage, and interstitial and airspace inflammation. The mechanisms by which influenza infections result in enhanced disease, including development of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress, are multifactorial, involving host, viral, and bacterial factors. Host factors that enhance risk of severe influenza disease include underlying comorbidities, such as cardiac and respiratory disease, immunosuppression, and pregnancy. Viral parameters enhancing disease risk include polymerase mutations associated with host switch and adaptation, viral proteins that modulate immune and antiviral responses, and virulence factors that increase disease severity, which can be especially prominent in pandemic viruses and some zoonotic influenza viruses causing human infections. Influenza viral infections result in damage to the respiratory epithelium that facilitates secondary infection with common bacterial pneumopathogens and can lead to secondary bacterial pneumonias that greatly contribute to respiratory distress, enhanced morbidity, and death. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which influenza and secondary bacterial infections, coupled with the role of host risk factors, contribute to enhanced morbidity and mortality is essential to develop better therapeutic strategies to treat severe influenza.
Project description:Influenza and other respiratory viral infections are the most common type of acute respiratory infection. Viral infections predispose patients to secondary bacterial infections, which often have a more severe clinical course. The mechanisms underlying post-viral bacterial infections are complex, and include multifactorial processes mediated by interactions between viruses, bacteria, and the host immune system. Studies over the past 15 years have demonstrated that unique microbial communities reside on the mucosal surfaces of the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract, which have both direct and indirect effects on host defense against viral infections. In addition, antiviral immune responses induced by acute respiratory infections such as influenza are associated with changes in microbial composition and function ("dysbiosis") in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, which in turn may alter subsequent immune function against secondary bacterial infection or alter the dynamics of inter-microbial interactions, thereby enhancing the proliferation of potentially pathogenic bacterial species. In this review, we summarize the literature on the interactions between host microbial communities and host defense, and how influenza, and other acute respiratory viral infections disrupt these interactions, thereby contributing to the pathogenesis of secondary bacterial infections.
Project description:Epidemiological observations and animal models have long shown synergy between influenza virus infections and bacterial infections. Influenza virus infection leads to an increase in both the susceptibility to secondary bacterial infections and the severity of the bacterial infections, primarily pneumonias caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae or Staphylococcus aureus. We show that, in addition to the widely described immune modulation and tissue-remodelling mechanisms of bacterial-viral synergy, the virus interacts directly with the bacterial surface. Similar to the recent observation of direct interactions between enteric bacteria and enteric viruses, we observed a direct interaction between influenza virus on the surface of Gram-positive, S. pneumoniae and S. aureus, and Gram-negative, Moraxella catarrhalis and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae, bacterial colonizers and pathogens in the respiratory tract. Pre-incubation of influenza virus with bacteria, followed by the removal of unbound virus, increased bacterial adherence to respiratory epithelial cells in culture. This result was recapitulated in vivo, with higher bacterial burdens in murine tissues when infected with pneumococci pre-incubated with influenza virus versus control bacteria without virus. These observations support an additional mechanism of bacteria-influenza virus synergy at the earliest steps of pathogenesis.
Project description:Acute respiratory infections by influenza viruses are commonly causes of severe pneumonia, which can further deteriorate if secondary bacterial infections occur. Although the viral and bacterial agents are quite diverse, defensins, a set of antimicrobial peptides expressed by the host, may provide promising biomarkers that would greatly improve the diagnosis and treatment. We examined the correlations between the gene expression levels of defensins and the viral and bacterial loads in the blood on a longitudinal, precision-medical study of a severe pneumonia patient infected by influenza A H7N9 virus. We found that DEFA5 is positively correlated to the blood load of influenza A H7N9 virus (r = 0.735, p < 0.05, Spearman correlation). DEFB116 and DEFB127 are positively and DEFB108B and DEFB114 are negatively correlated to the bacterial load. Then the diagnostic potential of defensins to discriminate bacterial and viral infections was evaluated on an independent dataset with 61 bacterial pneumonia patients and 39 viral pneumonia patients infected by influenza A viruses and reached 93% accuracy. Expression levels of defensins in the blood may be of important diagnostic values in clinic to indicate viral and bacterial infections.
Project description:Secondary bacterial infections increase disease severity of influenza virus infections and contribute greatly to increased morbidity and mortality during pandemics. To study secondary bacterial infection following influenza virus infection, mice were inoculated with sublethal doses of 2009 seasonal H1N1 virus (NIH50) or pandemic H1N1 virus (Mex09) followed by inoculation with Streptococcus pneumoniae 48 h later. Disease was characterized by assessment of weight loss and survival, titration of virus and bacteria by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR), histopathology, expression microarray, and immunohistochemistry. Mice inoculated with virus alone showed 100% survival for all groups. Mice inoculated with Mex09 plus S. pneumoniae showed severe weight loss and 100% mortality with severe alveolitis, denuded bronchiolar epithelium, and widespread expression of apoptosis marker cleaved caspase 3. In contrast, mice inoculated with NIH50 plus S. pneumoniae showed increased weight loss, 100% survival, and slightly enhanced lung pathology. Mex09-S. pneumoniae coinfection also resulted in increased S. pneumoniae replication in lung and bacteremia late in infection. Global gene expression profiling revealed that Mex09-S. pneumoniae coinfection did not induce significantly more severe inflammatory responses but featured significant loss of epithelial cell reproliferation and repair responses. Histopathological examination for cell proliferation marker MCM7 showed significant staining of airway epithelial cells in all groups except Mex09-S. pneumoniae-infected mice. This study demonstrates that secondary bacterial infection during 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus infection resulted in more severe disease and loss of lung repair responses than did seasonal influenza viral and bacterial coinfection. Moreover, this study provides novel insights into influenza virus and bacterial coinfection by showing correlation of lethal outcome with loss of airway basal epithelial cells and associated lung repair responses.Secondary bacterial pneumonias lead to increased disease severity and have resulted in a significant percentage of deaths during influenza pandemics. To understand the biological basis for the interaction of bacterial and viral infections, mice were infected with sublethal doses of 2009 seasonal H1N1 and pandemic H1N1 viruses followed by infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae 48 h later. Only infection with 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus and S. pneumoniae resulted in severe disease with a 100% fatality rate. Analysis of the host response to infection during lethal coinfection showed a significant loss of responses associated with lung repair that was not observed in any of the other experimental groups. This group of mice also showed enhanced bacterial replication in the lung. This study reveals that the extent of lung damage during viral infection influences the severity of secondary bacterial infections and may help explain some differences in mortality during influenza pandemics.
Project description:Secondary bacterial pneumonias are a frequent complication of influenza and other respiratory viral infections, but the mechanisms underlying viral-induced susceptibility to bacterial infections are poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear whether the host's response against the viral infection, independent of the injury caused by the virus, results in impairment of antibacterial host defense. Here, we sought to determine whether the induction of an "antiviral" immune state using various viral recognition receptor ligands was sufficient to result in decreased ability to combat common bacterial pathogens of the lung. Using a mouse model, animals were administered polyinosine-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) or Toll-like 7 ligand (imiquimod or gardiquimod) intranasally, followed by intratracheal challenge with Streptococcus pneumoniae. We found that animals pre-exposed to poly I:C displayed impaired bacterial clearance and increased mortality. Poly I:C-exposed animals also had decreased ability to clear methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Furthermore, we showed that activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR)3 and Retinoic acid inducible gene (RIG-I)/Cardif pathways, which recognize viral nucleic acids in the form of dsRNA, both contribute to poly I:C mediated impairment of bacterial clearance. Finally, we determined that poly I:C administration resulted in significant induction of type I interferons (IFNs), whereas the elimination of type I IFN signaling improved clearance and survival following secondary bacterial pneumonia. Collectively, these results indicate that in the lung, poly I:C administration is sufficient to impair pulmonary host defense against clinically important gram-positive bacterial pathogens, which appears to be mediated by type I IFNs.
Project description:Influenza viruses are a threat to global public health resulting in ~500,000 deaths each year. Despite an intensive vaccination program, influenza infections remain a recurrent, yet unsolved public health problem. Secondary bacterial infections frequently complicate influenza infections during seasonal outbreaks and pandemics, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), is frequently associated with these co-infections, including the 2009 influenza pandemic. Damage to alveolar epithelium is a major contributor to severe influenza-bacterial co-infections and can result in gas exchange abnormalities, fluid leakage, and respiratory insufficiency. These deleterious manifestations likely involve both pathogen- and host-mediated mechanisms. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the mechanisms (pathogen- and/or host-mediated) underlying influenza-bacterial co-infection pathogenesis. To address this, we characterized the contributions of viral-, bacterial-, and host-mediated factors to the altered structure and function of alveolar epithelial cells during co-infection with a focus on the 2009 pandemic influenza (pdm2009) and MRSA. Here, we characterized pdm2009 and MRSA replication kinetics, temporal host kinome responses, modulation of MRSA virulence factors, and disruption of alveolar barrier integrity in response to pdm2009-MRSA co-infection. Our results suggest that alveolar barrier disruption during co-infection is mediated primarily through host response dysregulation, resulting in loss of alveolar barrier integrity.
Project description:The impact of viral infections, on host microbiota composition and dynamics is poorly understood. Influenza A viruses (IAV) are common respiratory pathogens causing acute infections. In this study, we show dynamic changes in respiratory and intestinal microbiota over the course of a sublethal IAV infection in a mouse model. Using a combination of 16S rRNA gene specific next generation sequencing and qPCR as well as culturing of bacterial organ content, we found body site specific and transient microbiota responses to influenza infection. In the lower respiratory tract, we observed only minor qualitative changes in microbiota composition. In the small intestine, IAV induced robust depletion of bacterial content, disruption of mucus layer integrity and higher levels of antimicrobial peptides in Paneth cells. By RNAseq approach, we tried to analyze changes in transcriptomics of lung, and small intestine on the day of maximum changes to dissect possible causal players leading to the phentype observed. Overall design: mock treated (n=3) or influenza A virus infected (n=4) animals are weighted daily, and sacrifised to collect corresponding tissues on 7 days post infection.
Project description:Antibiotic resistance genes expressed in the upper respiratory tract of patients infected with influenza viruses were associated with the microbial community and microbial activities. Interactions between the host systemic responses to influenza infection and ARG expression highlight the importance of antibiotic resistance in viral-bacterial co-infection. Overall design: The microbial gene expression were profiled from the 35 respiratory samples taken from influenza infected individuals
Project description:Human rhinovirus and influenza virus infections of the upper airway lead to colds and the flu and can trigger exacerbations of lower airway diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Despite modest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of infections by these viruses, novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets are still needed to differentiate between the cold and the flu, since the clinical course of influenza can be severe while that of rhinovirus is usually more mild. In our investigation of influenza and rhinovirus infection of human respiratory epithelial cells, we used a systems approach to identify the temporally changing patterns of host gene expression from these viruses. After infection of human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) with rhinovirus, influenza virus or co-infection with both viruses, we studied the time-course of host gene expression changes over three days. From these data, we constructed a transcriptional regulatory network model that revealed shared and unique host responses to these viral infections such that after a lag of 4-8 hours, most cell host responses were similar for both viruses, while divergent host cell responses appeared after 24-48 hours. The similarities and differences in gene expression after epithelial infection of rhinovirus, influenza virus, or both viruses together revealed qualitative and quantitative differences in innate immune activation and regulation. These differences help explain the generally mild outcome of rhinovirus infections compared to influenza infections which can be much more severe. Human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) were infected with rhinovirus, influenza virus or both viruses and RNAs were then profiled at 10 time points (2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 26, 48, 60 and 72hrs)
Project description:Antibiotic resistance genes expressed in the upper respiratory tract of patients infected with influenza viruses were associated with the microbial community and microbial activities. Interactions between the host systemic responses to influenza infection and ARG expression highlight the importance of antibiotic resistance in viral-bacterial co-infection. Overall design: The microbial 16s rRNA gene V4 region was amplified and sequenced from the respiratory samples