Wolbachia endosymbionts induce neutrophil extracellular trap formation in human onchocerciasis

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Tamarozzi, Francesca ; Turner, Joseph D. ; Pionnier, Nicolas ; Midgley, Angela ; Guimaraes, Ana F. ; Johnston, Kelly L. ; Edwards, Steven W. ; Taylor, Mark J. (2016)
  • Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
  • Journal: Scientific Reports, volume 6 (issn: 2045-2322, eissn: 2045-2322)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1038/srep35559, pmc: PMC5067710
  • Subject: ww_160 | wa_110 | qw_51 | wc_885 | Article
    mesheuropmc: reproductive and urinary physiology | biochemical phenomena, metabolism, and nutrition | bacteria | parasitic diseases

The endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia, induce neutrophilic responses to the human helminth pathogen Onchocerca volvulus. The formation of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs), has been implicated in anti-microbial defence, but has not been identified in human helminth infection. Here, we demonstrate NETs formation in human onchocerciasis. Extracellular NETs and neutrophils were visualised around O. volvulus in nodules excised from untreated patients but not in nodules from patients treated with the anti-Wolbachia drug, doxycycline. Whole Wolbachia or microspheres coated with a synthetic Wolbachia lipopeptide (WoLP) of the major nematode Wolbachia TLR2/6 ligand, peptidoglycan associated lipoprotein, induced NETosis in human neutrophils in vitro. TLR6 dependency of Wolbachia and WoLP NETosis was demonstrated using purified neutrophils from TLR6 deficient mice. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time that NETosis occurs during natural human helminth infection and demonstrate a mechanism of NETosis induction via Wolbachia endobacteria and direct ligation of Wolbachia lipoprotein by neutrophil TLR2/6.
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