Identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.13003/15784
Klebsiella pneumoniae triggers a cytotoxic effect on airway epithelial cells
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CitationCano V, Moranta D, Llobet-Brossa E, Bengoechea JA, Garmendia J. Klebsiella pneumoniae triggers a cytotoxic effect on airway epithelial cells. BMC Microbiol. 2009 Aug 03;9:156.
Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae is a capsulated Gram negative bacterial pathogen and a frequent cause of nosocomial infections. Despite its clinical relevance, little is known about the features of the interaction between K. pneumoniae and lung epithelial cells on a cellular level, neither about the role of capsule polysaccharide, one of its best characterised virulence factors, in this interaction. Results: The interaction between Klebsiella pneumoniae and cultured airway epithelial cells was analysed. K. pneumoniae infection triggered cytotoxicity, evident by cell rounding and detachment from the substrate. This effect required the presence of live bacteria and of capsule polysaccharide, since it was observed with isolates expressing different amounts of capsule and/or different serotypes but not with non-capsulated bacteria. Cytotoxicity was analysed by lactate dehydrogenase and formazan measurements, ethidium bromide uptake and analysis of DNA integrity, obtaining consistent and complementary results. Moreover, cytotoxicity of non-capsulated strains was restored by addition of purified capsule during infection. While a non-capsulated strain was avirulent in a mouse infection model, capsulated K. pneumoniae isolates displayed different degrees of virulence. Conclusion: Our observations allocate a novel role to K. pneumoniae capsule in promotion of cytotoxicity. Although this effect is likely to be associated with virulence, strains expressing different capsule levels were not equally virulent. This fact suggests the existence of other bacterial requirements for virulence, together with capsule polysaccharide.
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Infecciones por Klebsiella
Ratones Endogámicos C57BL