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Evidence of functional cell-mediated immune responses to nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in otitis-prone children

Seppanen, E., Tan, D., Corscadden, K.J., Currie, A.J., Richmond, P.C., Thornton, R.B. and Kirkham, L.-A.S. (2018) Evidence of functional cell-mediated immune responses to nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in otitis-prone children. PLOS ONE, 13 (4). e0193962.

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Otitis media (OM) remains a common paediatric disease, despite advances in vaccinology. Susceptibility to recurrent acute OM (rAOM) has been postulated to involve defective cell-mediated immune responses to common otopathogenic bacteria. We compared the composition of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 20 children with a history of rAOM (otitis-prone) and 20 healthy non-otitis-prone controls, and assessed innate and cell-mediated immune responses to the major otopathogen nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). NTHi was a potent stimulator of inflammatory cytokine secretion from PBMC within 4 hours, with no difference in cytokine levels produced between PBMC from cases or controls. In the absence of antigen stimulation, otitis-prone children had more circulating Natural Killer (NK) cells (p<0.01), particularly NKdim (CD56lo) cells (p<0.01), but fewer CD4+ T cells (p<0.01) than healthy controls. NTHi challenge significantly increased the proportion of activated (CD107a+) NK cells in otitis-prone and non-otitis-prone children (p<0.01), suggesting that NK cells from otitis-prone children are functional and respond to NTHi. CD8+ T cells and NK cells from both cases and controls produced IFNγ in response to polyclonal stimulus (Staphylococcal enterotoxin B; SEB), with more IFNγ+ CD8+ T cells present in cases than controls (p<0.05) but similar proportions of IFNγ+ NK cells. Otitis-prone children had more circulating IFNγ-producing NK cells (p<0.05) and more IFNγ-producing CD4+ (p<0.01) or CD8+ T-cells (p<0.05) than healthy controls. In response to SEB, more CD107a-expressing CD8+ T cells were present in cases than controls (p<0.01). Despite differences in PBMC composition, PBMC from otitis-prone children mounted innate and T cell-mediated responses to NTHi challenge that were comparable to healthy children. These data provide evidence that otitis-prone children do not have impaired functional cell mediated immunity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2018 Seppanen et al
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