Publications by Year: 2015


Arcos, Jesús, Lauren E Diangelo, Julia M Scordo, Smitha J Sasindran, Juan I Moliva, Joanne Turner, and Jordi B Torrelles. (2015) 2015. “Lung Mucosa Lining Fluid Modification of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis to Reprogram Human Neutrophil Killing Mechanisms”. The Journal of Infectious Diseases 212 (6): 948-58.

We have shown that human alveolar lining fluid (ALF) contains homeostatic hydrolases capable of altering the Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall and subsequently its interaction with human macrophages. Neutrophils are also an integral part of the host immune response to M. tuberculosis infection. Here we show that the human lung mucosa influences M. tuberculosis interaction with neutrophils, enhancing the intracellular killing of ALF-exposed M. tuberculosis and up-regulating the expression of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin 8. In contrast, ALF-exposed M. tuberculosis does not induce neutrophil apoptosis or necrosis, degranulation, or release of extracellular traps, and it decreases the oxidative response. These results suggest an important role for the human alveolar mucosa: increasing the innate capacity of the neutrophil to recognize and kill M. tuberculosis by favoring the use of intracellular mechanisms, while at the same time limiting neutrophil extracellular inflammatory responses to minimize their associated tissue damage.

Pina-Mimbela, Ruby, Jesús Arcos Madrid, Anand Kumar, Jordi B Torrelles, and Gireesh Rajashekara. (2015) 2015. “Polyphosphate Kinases Modulate Campylobacter Jejuni Outer Membrane Constituents and Alter Its Capacity to Invade and Survive in Intestinal Epithelial Cells in Vitro”. Emerging Microbes & Infections 4 (12): e77.

Campylobacter jejuni is the most prevalent cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. Polyphosphate kinases 1 and 2 (PPK1 and PPK2) regulate several cellular processes, including the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall. Despite their importance, whether PPK1 and PPK2 modulate the composition of C. jejuni outer membrane constituents (OMCs) and consequently impact its interaction with host cells remains unknown. Our comparative analysis between C. jejuni wild type, Δppk1, and Δppk2 strains showed qualitative and quantitative differences in the total OMC composition among these strains. Importantly, these OMC variations observed on the C. jejuni polyphosphate kinase mutants are directly related to their capacity to invade, survive, and alter the immune response of intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Specifically, sub-fractionation of the C. jejuni OMC indicated that OMC proteins are uniquely associated with bacterial invasion, whereas C. jejuni OMC proteins, lipids, and lipoglycans are all associated with C. jejuni intracellular survival. This study provides new insights regarding the function of polyphosphate kinases and their role in C. jejuni infection.

Moliva, Juan I, Joanne Turner, and Jordi B Torrelles. (2015) 2015. “Prospects in Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette et Guérin (BCG) vaccine diversity and delivery: why does BCG fail to protect against tuberculosis?”. Vaccine 33 (39): 5035-41.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection leads to active tuberculosis (TB), a disease that kills one human every 18s. Current therapies available to combat TB include chemotherapy and the preventative vaccine Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette et Guérin (BCG). Increased reporting of drug resistant M.tb strains worldwide indicates that drug development cannot be the primary mechanism for eradication. BCG vaccination has been used globally for protection against childhood and disseminated TB, however, its efficacy at protecting against pulmonary TB in adult and aging populations is highly variable. In this regard, the immune response generated by BCG vaccination is incapable of sterilizing the lung post M.tb infection as indicated by the large proportion of individuals with latent TB infection that have received BCG. Although many new TB vaccine candidates have entered the development pipeline, only a few have moved to human clinical trials; where they showed no efficacy and/or were withdrawn due to safety regulations. These trials highlight our limited understanding of protective immunity against the development of active TB. Here, we discuss current vaccination strategies and their impact on the generation and sustainability of protective immunity against TB.