The Lectin Complement Pathway Is Involved in Protection Against Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Infection

Camilla Adler Sørensen, Anne Rosbjerg, Betina Hebbelstrup Jensen, Karen Angeliki Krogfelt, Peter Garred

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Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) causes acute and persistent diarrhea worldwide. Still, the involvement of host factors in EAEC infections is unresolved. Binding of recognition molecules from the lectin pathway of complement to EAEC strains have been observed, but the importance is not known. Our aim was to uncover the involvement of these molecules in innate complement dependent immune protection toward EAEC. Binding of mannose-binding lectin, ficolin-1, -2, and -3 to four prototypic EAEC strains, and ficolin-2 binding to 56 clinical EAEC isolates were screened by a consumption-based ELISA method. Flow cytometry was used to determine deposition of C4b, C3b, and the bactericidal C5b-9 membrane attack complex (MAC) on the bacteria in combination with different complement inhibitors. In addition, the direct serum bactericidal effect was assessed. Screening of the prototypic EAEC strains revealed that ficolin-2 was the major binder among the lectin pathway recognition molecules. However, among the clinical EAEC isolates only a restricted number (n = 5) of the isolates bound ficolin-2. Using the ficolin-2 binding isolate C322-17 as a model, we found that incubation with normal human serum led to deposition of C4b, C3b, and to MAC formation. No inhibition of complement deposition was observed when a C1q inhibitor was added, while partial inhibition was observed when ficolin-2 or factor D inhibitors were used separately. Combining the inhibitors against ficolin-2 and factor D led to virtually complete inhibition of complement deposition and protection against direct bacterial killing. These results demonstrate that ficolin-2 may play an important role in innate immune protection against EAEC when an appropriate ligand is exposed, but many EAEC strains evade lectin pathway recognition and may, therefore, circumvent this strategy of innate host immune protection.
TidsskriftFrontiers in Immunology
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa

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