Tissue Tropism in Streptococcal Infection: Wild-Type M1T1 Group AStreptococcusIs Efficiently Cleared by Neutrophils Using an NADPH Oxidase-Dependent Mechanism in the Lung but Not in the Skin
Quinn, Mark T.
Jutila, Mark A.
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Group A Streptococcus (GAS) commonly causes pharyngitis and skin infections. Little is known why streptococcal pharyngitis usually does not lead to pneumonia and why the skin is a favorite niche for GAS. To partially address these questions, the effectiveness of neutrophils in clearing wild-type (wt) M1T1 GAS strain MGAS2221 from the lung and from the skin was examined in murine models of intratracheal pneumonia and subcutaneous infection. Ninety-nine point seven percent of the MGAS2221 inoculum was cleared from the lungs of C57BL/6J mice at 24 h after inoculation, while there was no MGAS2221 clearance from skin infection sites. The bronchial termini had robust neutrophil infiltration, and depletion of neutrophils abolished MGAS2221 clearance from the lung. Phagocyte NADPH oxidase but not myeloperoxidase was required for MGAS2221 clearance. Thus, wt M1T1 GAS can be cleared by neutrophils using an NADPH oxidase-dependent mechanism in the lung. MGAS2221 induced robust neutrophil infiltration at the edge of skin infection sites and throughout infection sites at 24 h and 48 h after inoculation, respectively. Neutrophils within MGAS2221 infection sites had no nuclear staining. Skin infection sites of streptolysin S-deficient MGAS2221 ΔsagA were full of neutrophils with nuclear staining, whereas MGAS2221 ΔsagA infection was not cleared. Gp91phox knockout (KO) and control mice had similar GAS numbers at skin infection sites and similar abilities to select SpeB activity-negative (SpeBA-) variants. These results indicate that phagocyte NADPH oxidase-mediated GAS killing is compromised in the skin. Our findings support a model for GAS skin tropism in which GAS generates an anoxic niche to evade phagocyte NADPH oxidase-mediated clearance.
Lei, Benfang, Dylan Minor, Wenchao Feng, Maria Jerome, Mark T. Quinn, Mark A. Jutila, and Mengyao Liu. “Tissue Tropism in Streptococcal Infection: Wild-Type M1T1 Group AStreptococcusIs Efficiently Cleared by Neutrophils Using an NADPH Oxidase-Dependent Mechanism in the Lung but Not in the Skin.” Edited by Nancy E. Freitag. Infection and Immunity 87, no. 10 (July 22, 2019). doi:10.1128/iai.00527-19.