• Oral vaccination with Salmonella enterica as a cruzipain-DNA delivery system confers protective immunity against Trypanosoma cruzi.

      Cazorla, Silvia I; Becker, Pablo D; Frank, Fernanda M; Ebensen, Thomas; Sartori, María J; Corral, Ricardo S; Malchiodi, Emilio L; Guzmán, Carlos A; Instituto de Estudios de la Inmunidad Humoral, CONICET-UBA, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (2008-01)
      To stimulate both local and systemic immune responses against Trypanosoma cruzi, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium aroA was exploited as a DNA delivery system for cruzipain (SCz). In a murine model we compared SCz alone (GI) or coadministered with Salmonella carrying a plasmid encoding granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GII), as well as protocols in which SCz priming was followed by boosting with recombinant cruzipain (rCz) admixed with either CpG-ODN (GIII) or MALP-2, a synthetic derivative of a macrophage-activating lipopeptide of 2 kDa from Mycoplasma fermentans (GIV). The results showed that protocols that included four oral doses of SCz (GI) elicited mainly a mucosal response characterized by immunoglobulin A (IgA) secretion and proliferation of gut-associated lymphoid tissue cells, with weak systemic responses. In contrast, the protocol that included a boost with rCz plus CpG (GIII) triggered stronger systemic responses in terms of Cz-specific serum IgG titers, splenocyte proliferation, gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) secretion, and delayed-type hypersensitivity response. Trypomastigote challenge of vaccinated mice resulted in significantly lower levels of parasitemia compared to controls. Protection was abolished by depletion of either CD4+ or CD8+ T cells. Parasite control was also evident from the reduction of tissue damage, as revealed by histopathologic studies and serum levels of enzymes that are markers of muscle injury in chronic Chagas' disease (i.e., creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase). Enhanced release of IFN-gamma and interleukin-2 was observed in GI and GII upon restimulation of splenocytes in the nonparasitic phase of infection. Our results indicate that Salmonella-mediated delivery of Cz-DNA by itself promotes the elicitation of an immune response that controls T. cruzi infection, thereby reducing parasite loads and subsequent damage to muscle tissues.
    • PD-1 expression affects cytokine production by ILC2 and is influenced by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ.

      Batyrova, Banu; Luwaert, Fien; Maravelia, Panagiota; Miyabayashi, Yuria; Vashist, Neha; Stark, Julian M; Soori, Sara Y; Tibbitt, Christopher A; Riese, Peggy; Coquet, Jonathan M; et al. (Wiley, 2019-11-19)
      Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) can provide early cytokine help against a variety of pathogens in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. Type 2 ILC (ILC2) are comparable to T helper 2 cells found in the adaptive immune system, which secrete cytokines such as interleukin 5 (IL-5) and IL-13 and have been found to play roles in host defense against helminth infections and in allergic responses. Recent studies have identified that programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) are highly expressed by ILC2. We examined whether PD-1 plays a role in ILC2 function and whether there was any connection between PD-1 and PPAR-γ METHODS: To ensure that only innate immune cells were present, ILC2 cells were examined from RAG1-/- and PD-1-/- xRAG1-/- mice under steady-state or following inoculation with IL-33. We also tested ILC2 generated from bone marrow of RAG1-/- and PD-1-/- xRAG1-/- mice for their production of cytokines. These in vitro-derived ILC2 were also exposed to agonist and antagonist of PPAR-γ.
    • Peptidoglycan-treated tumor antigen-pulsed dendritic cells impart complete resistance against tumor rechallenge.

      Patidar, A; Selvaraj, S; Chauhan, P; Guzman, C A; Ebensen, T; Sarkar, A; Chattopadhyay, D; Saha, B (2020-06-26)
    • Peritoneal Cavity Is Dominated by IFNγ-Secreting CXCR3 Th1 Cells.

      Zygmunt, Beata M; Groebe, Lothar; Guzman, Carlos A; Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2011)
      The chemokine receptor CXCR3, which was shown to take part in many inflammatory processes, is considered as a Th1 specific marker. Here, we show in a mouse model that CXCR3 expressing CD4(+) cells preferentially migrate to the peritoneal cavity under steady-state conditions. The peritoneal cavity milieu leads to an up-regulated expression of CXCR3. However, blocking of known ligands of this chemokine receptor did not alter the preferential migration. The peritoneal cavity environment also results in an increased percentage of memory cells producing cytokines. Up-regulation of IFNγ production occurs mostly in CXCR3(+) cells considered as Th1, whereas the up-regulation of IL-4 affects mostly in CXCR3(-) cells which are considered as Th2. We conclude that the peritoneal cavity does not change the Th-lineage of the cells, but that domination of this anatomic niche by Th1 cells rather results from preferential migration to this compartment.
    • Peritoneal cavity is dominated by IFNγ-secreting CXCR3+ Th1 cells.

      Zygmunt, Beata M; Groebe, Lothar; Guzman, Carlos A; Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2011)
      The chemokine receptor CXCR3, which was shown to take part in many inflammatory processes, is considered as a Th1 specific marker. Here, we show in a mouse model that CXCR3 expressing CD4(+) cells preferentially migrate to the peritoneal cavity under steady-state conditions. The peritoneal cavity milieu leads to an up-regulated expression of CXCR3. However, blocking of known ligands of this chemokine receptor did not alter the preferential migration. The peritoneal cavity environment also results in an increased percentage of memory cells producing cytokines. Up-regulation of IFNγ production occurs mostly in CXCR3(+) cells considered as Th1, whereas the up-regulation of IL-4 affects mostly in CXCR3(-) cells which are considered as Th2. We conclude that the peritoneal cavity does not change the Th-lineage of the cells, but that domination of this anatomic niche by Th1 cells rather results from preferential migration to this compartment.
    • Phylogenetic Analysis of Previously Nontypeable Hepatitis C Virus Isolates from Argentina†

      Gismondi, María Inés; Becker, Pablo Daniel; Valva, Pamela; Guzmán, Carlos Alberto; Preciado, María Victoria (American Society for Microbiology, 2006-06)
    • Pidotimod promotes functional maturation of dendritic cells and displays adjuvant properties at the nasal mucosa level.

      Giagulli, Cinzia; Noerder, Miriam; Avolio, Manuela; Becker, Pablo D; Fiorentini, Simona; Guzman, Carlos A; Caruso, Arnaldo; Department of Experimental and Applied Medicine, Section of Microbiology, University of Brescia, Medical School, Brescia, Italy. (2009-11)
      Mucosal dendritic cells (DCs) are very important in the process of antigen presentation to T cells, playing a key role in the induction of primary and secondary immune responses. Pidotimod is a synthetic substance capable of modulating immune cell functions, but the effect of pidotimod on human DCs has not been investigated yet. Here we demonstrate the ability of pidotimod to induce DC maturation and up-regulate the expression of HLA-DR and co-stimulatory molecules CD83 and CD86, which are fundamental for communication with adaptative immunity cells. Pidotimod also stimulated DCs to release high amounts of pro-inflammatory molecules such as MCP-1 and TNF-alpha cytokines and to drive T cell proliferation and differentiation towards a Th1 phenotype. Moreover, we demonstrate that pidotimod in vivo promotes strong and specific humoral and cellular immune response when co-administered intranasally with a model antigen. Taken together our data suggest the possibility to use pidotimod as adjuvant molecule to facilitate the activation of the innate immune system as well as to promote an effective mucosal and systemic immune response.
    • Porcine pulmonary angiotensin I-converting enzyme--biochemical characterization and spatial arrangement of the N- and C-domains by three-dimensional electron microscopic reconstruction.

      Chen, Hui-Ling; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Hecht, Hans-Jürgen; Tsai, Hsin; Development Center for Biotechnology, Taipei County 221, Taiwan, ROC. (2010-08)
      The somatic angiotensin I-converting enzyme (sACE; peptidyl-dipeptidase A; EC was isolated from pig lung and purified to homogeneity. The purified enzyme has a molecular mass of about 180 kDa. Upon proteolytic cleavage, two approximately 90 kDa fragments were obtained and identified by amino-terminal sequence analysis as the N- and C-domains of sACE. Both purified domains were shown to be catalytically active. A 2.3 nm resolution model of sACE was obtained by three-dimensional electron microscopic reconstruction of negatively stained sACE particles, based on atomic X-ray data fitting. Our model shows for the first time the relative orientation of the sACE catalytically active domains and their spatial distance.
    • Prime-boost immunization with cruzipain co-administered with MALP-2 triggers a protective immune response able to decrease parasite burden and tissue injury in an experimental Trypanosoma cruzi infection model.

      Cazorla, SI; Frank, FM; Becker, PD; Corral, RS; Guzmán, CA; Malchiodi, EL; Cátedra de Inmunología and Instituto de Estudios de la Inmunidad Humoral (IDEHU), CONICET-UBA, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Junin 956 4to P, 1113 Buenos Aires, Argentina; Departamento de Microbiología, Parasitología e Inmunología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Department of Vaccinology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstraße 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2008-04-07)
      Cruzipain (Cz), a key Trypanosoma cruzi enzyme, is a main candidate antigen for vaccines against Chagas' disease. We evaluated a vaccination protocol based on intradermal priming with recombinant Cz and intranasal boosting with rCz co-administered with a derivative of the TLR2/6 agonist MALP-2. Vaccination triggered strong systemic and mucosal antibody responses, and a vigorous cell-mediated immunity characterized by lymphoproliferation, DTH reactivity and IFN-gamma production. The immune responses protected against a lethal trypomastigote challenge and, upon sub-lethal infection, immunized mice showed reduction of tissue damage and normal enzymatic markers of muscle injury. This prime-boost regimen appears promising for further development, since warranted survival, provided efficient control of parasite load and restricted inflammatory myopathy.
    • A prime-boost vaccination protocol optimizes immune responses against the nucleocapsid protein of the SARS coronavirus.

      Schulze, Kai; Staib, Caroline; Schätzl, Hermann M; Ebensen, Thomas; Erfle, Volker; Guzman, Carlos A; Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2008-12-02)
      Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a serious infectious disease caused by the SARS coronavirus. We assessed the potential of prime-boost vaccination protocols based on the nucleocapsid (NC) protein co-administered with a derivative of the mucosal adjuvant MALP-2 or expressed by modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA-NC) to stimulate humoral and cellular immune responses at systemic and mucosal levels. The obtained results demonstrated that strong immune responses can be elicited both at systemic and mucosal levels following a heterologous prime-boost vaccination protocol consisting in priming with NC protein add-mixed with MALP-2 by intranasal route and boosting with MVA-NC by intramuscular route.
    • The proneurotrophin receptor sortilin is required for Mycobacterium tuberculosis control by macrophages.

      Vázquez, Cristina L; Rodgers, Angela; Herbst, Susanne; Coade, Stephen; Gronow, Achim; Guzman, Carlos A; Wilson, Mark S; Kanzaki, Makoto; Nykjaer, Anders; Gutierrez, Maximiliano G; et al. (2016)
      Sorting of luminal and membrane proteins into phagosomes is critical for the immune function of this organelle. However, little is known about the mechanisms that contribute to the spatiotemporal regulation of this process. Here, we investigated the role of the proneurotrophin receptor sortilin during phagosome maturation and mycobacterial killing. We show that this receptor is acquired by mycobacteria-containing phagosomes via interactions with the adaptor proteins AP-1 and GGAs. Interestingly, the phagosomal association of sortilin is critical for the delivery of acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) and required for efficient phagosome maturation. Macrophages from Sort1(-/-) mice are less efficient in restricting the growth of Mycobacterium bovis BCG and M. tuberculosis. In vivo, Sort1(-/-) mice showed a substantial increase in cellular infiltration of neutrophils in their lungs and higher bacterial burden after infection with M. tuberculosis. Altogether, sortilin defines a pathway required for optimal intracellular mycobacteria control and lung inflammation in vivo.
    • Prophylactic Multi-Subunit Vaccine against Chlamydia trachomatis In Vivo Evaluation in Mice.

      Lanfermann, Christian; Wintgens, Sebastian; Ebensen, Thomas; Kohn, Martin; Laudeley, Robert; Schulze, Kai; Rheinheimer, Claudia; Hegemann, Johannes H; Guzman, Carlos Alberto; Klos, Andreas; et al. (MDPI, 2021-06-06)
      Chlamydia trachomatis is the most frequent sexually-transmitted disease-causing bacterium. Urogenital serovars of this intracellular pathogen lead to urethritis and cervicitis. Ascending infections result in pelvic inflammatory disease, salpingitis, and oophoritis. One of 200 urogenital infections leads to tubal infertility. Serovars A-C cause trachoma with visual impairment. There is an urgent need for a vaccine. We characterized a new five-component subunit vaccine in a mouse vaccination-lung challenge infection model. Four recombinant Pmp family-members and Ctad1 from C. trachomatis serovar E, all of which participate in adhesion and binding of chlamydial elementary bodies to host cells, were combined with the mucosal adjuvant cyclic-di-adenosine monophosphate. Intranasal application led to a high degree of cross-serovar protection against urogenital and ocular strains of C. trachomatis, which lasted at least five months. Critical evaluated parameters were body weight, clinical score, chlamydial load, a granulocyte marker and the cytokines IFN-γ/TNF-α in lung homogenate. Vaccine antigen-specific antibodies and a mixed Th1/Th2/Th17 T cell response with multi-functional CD4+ and CD8+ T cells correlate with protection. However, serum-transfer did not protect the recipients suggesting that circulating antibodies play only a minor role. In the long run, our new vaccine might help to prevent the feared consequences of human C. trachomatis infections.
    • PspA can form large scaffolds in Escherichia coli.

      Standar, Kerstin; Mehner, Denise; Osadnik, Hendrik; Berthelmann, Felix; Hause, Gerd; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Brüser, Thomas; Institute of Biology/Microbiology, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Kurt-Mothes-Strasse 3, D-06120 Halle, Germany. (2008-10-29)
      The phage shock protein A (PspA) of Escherichia coli stabilizes the cytoplasmic membrane under stress conditions. Here we demonstrate that PspA can form hollow spherical or prolate spheroidal particles of about 30-40nm diameter with a scaffold-like arrangement of protein subunits at the surface. The 'PspA-scaffold' is the basic structure that is common to all particles. The PspA-scaffold may be of fundamental importance, as it could allow PspA to stabilize the integrity of membranes through numerous contact points over a large surface area.
    • Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis of Vibrio cholerae cells entering the viable but non-culturable state and starvation in response to cold shock.

      González-Escalona, Narjol; Fey, Axel; Höfle, Manfred G; Espejo, Romilio T; A Guzmán, Carlos; Vaccine Research Group, Division of Microbiology, GBF-German Research Centre for Biotechnology, Braunschweig, Germany. (2006-04)
      We performed a comparative analysis of the Vibrio cholerae strain El Tor 3083 entering the viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state and starvation after incubation in artificial seawater (ASW) at 4 and 15 degrees C respectively. To this end, we determined bacterial culturability and membrane integrity, as well as the cellular levels of 16S rRNA and mRNA for the tuf, rpoS and relA genes, which were assessed by real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (Q-RT-PCR). Bacterial cells entering the VBNC state showed a 154, 5.1 x 10(3), 24- and 23-fold reduction in the number of copies of 16S rRNA and mRNA for tuf, rpoS and relA, in comparison to exponentially growing cells. The differences were less striking between cells in the VBNC and starvation states. The mRNA for relA was selectively increased in VBNC cells (3.2-folds), whereas a 3.9-fold reduction was observed for 16S rRNA. The obtained results confirmed that key activities of the cellular metabolism (i.e. tuf representing protein synthesis, and relA or rpoS stress response) were still detected in bacteria entering the VBNC state and starvation. These data suggest that the new Q-RT-PCR methodology, based on the selected RNA targets, could be successfully exploited for the identification (rRNA) of V. cholerae and assessment of its metabolic activity (tuf, rpoS, relA mRNA) in environmental samples.
    • Rapid In Vivo Assessment of Adjuvant's Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes Generation Capabilities for Vaccine Development

      Lirussi, Darío; Ebensen, Thomas; Schulze, Kai; Reinhard, Elena; Trittel, Stephanie; Riese, Peggy; Prochnow, Blair; Guzmán, Carlos A.; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
      The assessment of modern sub-unit vaccines reveals that the generation of neutralizing antibodies is important but not sufficient for adjuvant selection. Therefore, adjuvants with both humoral and cellular immuno-stimulatory capabilities that are able to promote cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) responses are urgently needed. Thus, faithful monitoring of adjuvant candidates that induce cross-priming and subsequently enhance CTL generation represents a crucial step in vaccine development. In here we present an application for a method that uses SIINFEKL-specific (OT-I) T cells to monitor the cross-presentation of the model antigen ovalbumin (OVA) in vivo in the presence of different adjuvant candidates. This method represents a rapid test to select adjuvants with the best cross-priming capabilities. The proliferation of CD8+ T cells is the most valuable indication of cross-priming and it is also regarded as a correlate of adjuvant-induced cross-presentation. This feature can be evaluated in different immune organs like lymph nodes and spleen. The extent of the CTL generation can also be monitored, thereby giving insights on the nature of a local (draining lymph node mainly) or a systemic response (distant lymph nodes and/or spleen). This technique further allows multiple modifications for testing drugs that can inhibit specific cross-presentation pathways and also offers the possibility to be used in different strains of conventional and genetically modified mice. In summary, the application that we present here will be useful for vaccine laboratories in industry or academia that develop or modify chemical adjuvants for vaccine research and development. © 2018, Journal of Visualized Experiments.
    • Redirection of the immune response to the functional catalytic domain of the cystein proteinase cruzipain improves protective immunity against Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

      Cazorla, Silvia I; Frank, Fernanda M; Becker, Pablo D; Arnaiz, María; Mirkin, Gerardo A; Corral, Ricardo S; Guzmán, Carlos A; Malchiodi, Emilio L; Cátedra de Inmunología and Instituto de Estudios de la Inmunidad Humoral (IDEHU), Universidad de BuenosAires, 1113 Buenos Aires, Argentina. (2010-07-01)
      Despite the strong immune responses elicited after natural infection with Trypanosoma cruzi or vaccination against it, parasite survival suggests that these responses are insufficient or inherently inadequate. T. cruzi contains a major cystein proteinase, cruzipain, which has a catalytic N-terminal domain and a C-terminal extension. Immunizations that employed recombinant cruzipain or its N- and C-terminal domains allowed evaluation of the ability of cruzipain to circumvent responses against the catalytic domain. This phenomenon is not a property of the parasite but of cruzipain itself, because recombinant cruzipain triggers a response similar to that of cruzipain during natural or experimental infection. Cruzipain is not the only antigen with a highly immunogenic region of unknown function that somehow protects an essential domain for parasite survival. However, our studies show that this can be reverted by using the N-terminal domain as a tailored immunogen able to redirect host responses to provide enhanced protection.
    • Replication-deficient mutant Herpes Simplex Virus-1 targets professional antigen presenting cells and induces efficient CD4+ T helper responses.

      Fiorentini, Simona; Marconi, Peggy; Avolio, Manuela; Marini, Elena; Garrafa, Emirena; Caracciolo, Sonia; Rossi, Daniele; Bozac, Alexandra; Becker, Pablo D; Gentili, Francesca; et al. (2007-07)
      Both neutralizing antibodies and cytotoxic T-cells are necessary to control a viral infection. However, vigorous T helper responses are essential for their elicitation and maintenance. Here we show that a recombinant replication-deficient Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)-1 vector encoding the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 matrix protein p17 (T0-p17) was capable of infecting professional antigen presenting cells (APCs) in vitro and in vivo. The injection of T0-p17 in the mouse dermis generated a strong p17-specific CD4+ T helper response preceding both p17-specific humoral and effector T cell responses. Moreover, we show that T0-p17 infection did not interfere with the endogenous processing of the transgene encoded antigen, since infected APCs were able to evoke a strong recall response in vitro. Our results demonstrate that replication-deficient HSV vectors can be appealing candidates for the development of vaccines able to trigger T helper responses.
    • Respiratory Influenza A Virus Infection Triggers Local and Systemic Natural Killer Cell Activation Toll-Like Receptor 7.

      Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Behrens, Sarah; Boehme, Julia D; Hochnadel, Inga; Riese, Peggy; Guzmán, Carlos A; Kröger, Andrea; Schreiber, Jens; Gunzer, Matthias; Bruder, Dunja; et al. (Frontiers, 2018-02-13)
      The innate immune system senses influenza A virus (IAV) through different pathogen-recognition receptors including Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7). Downstream of viral recognition natural killer (NK) cells are activated as part of the anti-IAV immune response. Despite the known decisive role of TLR7 for NK cell activation by therapeutic immunostimulatory RNAs, the contribution of TLR7 to the NK cell response following IAV infection has not been addressed. We have analyzed lung cytokine responses as well as the activation, interferon (IFN)-γ production, and cytotoxicity of lung and splenic NK cells following sublethal respiratory IAV infection in wild-type and TLR7ko mice. Early airway IFN-γ levels as well as the induction of lung NK cell CD69 expression and IFN-γ production in response to IAV infection were significantly attenuated in TLR7-deficient hosts. Strikingly, respiratory IAV infection also primed splenic NK cells for IFN-γ production, degranulation, and target cell lysis, all of which were fully dependent on TLR7. At the same time, lung type I IFN levels were significantly reduced in TLR7ko mice early following IAV infection, displaying a potential upstream mechanism of the attenuated NK cell activation observed. Taken together, our data clearly demonstrate a specific role for TLR7 signaling in local and systemic NK cell activation following respiratory IAV infection despite the presence of redundant innate IAV-recognition pathways.
    • The response of Vibrio- and Rhodobacter-related populations of the NW Mediterranean Sea to additions of dissolved organic matter, phages, or dilution.

      Weinbauer, Markus G; Christen, Richard; Höfle, Manfred G (2006-04-01)
      We investigated the growth response of the heterotrophic prokaryotic community focusing on Vibrio- and Rhodobacter-related populations (SRF3) to variation in the availability of dissolved organic matter (DOM), population density-dependent effects, and prokaryotic virus (phage) infection in coastal and offshore waters of the NW Mediterranean Sea. We tested the response of the prokaryotic community to three different DOM fractions prepared by ultrafiltration. One of the DOM fractions contained phages (<0.2 m), a second was virus-free (<100 kDa), and a third contained only low molecular weight (<1 kDa). The proportion of Vibrio and SRF3 populations as determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization in the community ranged from <1 to 6.2% and from 3.2 to 6.3%, respectively. Based on changes in cell numbers, growth rates ranged from 2.1 to 3.1 day(-1) for Vibrio and from 0.8 to 1.2 day(-1) for SRF3. Growth rates of Vibrio were similar or higher than those of the total prokaryotic community, whereas the ability of Vibrio to use high molecular weight (HMW) DOM and the responses to additions of phage-rich material were lower. Growth rates of SRF3 were lower than that of the community. Susceptibility to infection of SRF3 was sometimes lower than in the community, whereas the growth stimulation of HMW DOM was similar or lower. Reducing the cell concentrations of the prokaryotic community by dilution stimulated the overall growth of the community, including that of its constituent Vibrio and SRF3 populations, but the effect was smaller on the SRF3 and greater on Vibrio populations than for the total community. Comparisons with the community also revealed that life strategy traits of bacterial populations differed between coastal and offshore waters. Overall, our data suggest that Vibrio is an r-strategist or opportunistic population in the NW Mediterranean Sea, whereas SRF3 is a K-strategist or equilibrium population.
    • Responsiveness to Influenza Vaccination Correlates with NKG2C-Expression on NK Cells.

      Riese, Peggy; Trittel, Stephanie; Pathirana, Rishi D; Klawonn, Frank; Cox, Rebecca J; Guzmán, Carlos A; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-06-05)
      Influenza vaccination often results in a large percentage of low responders, especially in high-risk groups. As a first line of defense, natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in the fight against infections. However, their implication with regard to vaccine responsiveness is insufficiently assessed. Therefore, this study aimed at the validation of essential NK cell features potentially associated with differential vaccine responsiveness with a special focus on NKG2C- and/or CD57-expressing NK cells considered to harbor memory-like functions. To this end, 16 healthy volunteers were vaccinated with an adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine. Vaccine responders and low responders were classified according to their hemagglutination inhibition antibody titers. A majority of responders displayed enhanced frequencies of NKG2C-expressing NK cells 7- or 14-days post-vaccination as compared to low responders, whereas the expression of CD57 was not differentially modulated. The NK cell cytotoxic potential was found to be confined to CD56dimCD16+ NKG2C-expressing NK cells in the responders but not in the low responders, which was further confirmed by stochastic neighbor embedding analysis. The presented study is the first of its kind that ascribes CD56dimCD16+ NKG2C-expressing NK cells a crucial role in biasing adaptive immune responses upon influenza vaccination and suggests NKG2C as a potential biomarker in predicting pandemic influenza vaccine responsiveness.