Mycobacterium leprae :: pathogenicity
Lepr Rev. 2012 Mar ;83 (1):104-7 22655476
Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi- 110002, India.
Lepromatous leprosy (LL) has been reported in the literature with Non Hodgkin Lymphoma and rarely with Hodgkin Lymphoma. However, an extensive search of the literature shows no case report describing anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in association with LL. We report a case of a young male with LL who was found to have ALCL. This is an interesting case of coexistence of an endemic infectious disease and a rare lymphoma involving the same lymph node, with a brief review of the literature.
Most cited papers:
Department of Microbiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.
Two important pathogens of developing countries, Mycobacterium leprae, the etiologic agent of leprosy, and Leishmania donovani, the protozoal parasite that causes kalaazar, persist in the human host primarily in mononuclear phagocytes. The mechanisms by which they survive in these otherwise highly cytocidal cells are presently unknown. Since the best understood cytocidal mechanism of these cells is the oxygen-dependent system that provides lethal oxidants including the superoxide anion (O2-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydroxyl radical (OH), and singlet oxygen (1O2), we sought specific microbial products of these organisms that might enable them to elude oxidative cytocidal mechanisms. Phenolic glycolipid I of M. leprae and lipophosphoglycan of L. donovani are unique cell-wall-associated glycolipids produced in large amounts by the organisms. In this study, phenolic glycolipid I derivatives and lipophosphoglycan were examined for their ability to scavenge potentially cytocidal oxygen metabolites in vitro. Electron spin resonance and spin-trapping indicate that phenolic glycolipid I derivatives and lipophosphoglycan are highly effective in scavenging hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anions. The results suggest that complex glycolipids and carbohydrates of intracellular pathogens that can scavenge oxygen radicals may contribute to their pathogenicity and virulence.
Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pathogenic mycobacteria, including the causative agents of tuberculosis and leprosy, are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. A hallmark of these pathogens is their tendency to establish chronic infections that produce similar pathologies in a variety of hosts. During infection, mycobacteria reside in macrophages and induce the formation of granulomas, organized immune complexes of differentiated macrophages, lymphocytes, and other cells. This review summarizes our understanding of Mycobacterium-host cell interactions, the bacterial-granuloma interface, and mechanisms of bacterial virulence and persistence. In addition, we highlight current controversies and unanswered questions in these areas.
Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death due to an infectious organism, killing an estimated 3 million people annually. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, and other pathogenic mycobacteria require entry into host macrophages to initiate infection. An invasion mechanism was defined that was shared among pathogenic mycobacteria including M. tuberculosis, M. leprae, and M. avium but not by nonpathogenic mycobacteria or nonmycobacterial intramacrophage pathogens. This pathway required the association of the complement cleavage product C2a with mycobacteria resulting in the formation of a C3 convertase. The mycobacteria-associated C2a cleaved C3, resulting in C3b opsonization of the mycobacteria and recognition by macrophages.
Gene knockout reveals a novel gene cluster for the synthesis of a class of cell wall lipids unique to pathogenic mycobacteria.
Neurobiotechnology Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.
Surface-exposed unusual lipids containing phthiocerol and phenolphthiocerol are found only in the cell wall of slow-growing pathogenic mycobacteria and are thought to play important roles in host-pathogen interaction. The enzymology and molecular genetics of biosynthesis of phthiocerol and phenolphthiocerol are unknown. We postulate the domain organization of a set of multifunctional enzymes and a cluster of genes (pps) that would encode these enzymes for the biosynthesis of phthiocerol and phenolphthiocerol. A cosmid containing the postulated pps gene cluster was identified by screening a genomic library of Mycobacterium bovis BCG with the postulated homologous domains from mycocerosic acid synthase and fatty acid synthase genes as probes. Homologous cosmids were also identified in the genomic libraries of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae. M. bovis BCG was transformed with a pps disruption construct, made from the BCG cosmid by introducing the hygromycin resistance gene as the positive-selectable marker and the sacB gene as the counter-selectable marker. Gene disruption by homologous recombination with double crossover was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and Southern hybridization. Chromatographic analysis showed that the phenolphthiocerol derivative, mycoside B, and phthiocerol dimycocerosates were not produced by the gene knockout mutants. This result confirms the identity of the pps genes. With the identification of the pps gene clusters in both M. tuberculosis and M. leprae, it should be possible to test the postulated roles of these unique lipids in tuberculosis and leprosy.
Role of the cell wall phenolic glycolipid-1 in the peripheral nerve predilection of Mycobacterium leprae.
Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.
The cell wall of pathogenic mycobacteria is abundant with complex glycolipids whose roles in disease pathogenesis are mostly unknown. Here, we provide evidence for the involvement of the specific trisaccharide unit of the phenolic glycolipid-1 (PGL-1) of Mycobacterium leprae in determining the bacterial predilection to the peripheral nerve. PGL-1 binds specifically to the native laminin-2 in the basal lamina of Schwann cell-axon units. This binding is mediated by the alpha(2LG1, alpha2LG4, and alpha2LG5 modules present in the naturally cleaved fragments of the peripheral nerve laminin alpha2 chain, and is inhibited by the synthetic terminal trisaccharide of PGL-1. PGL-1 is involved in the M. leprae invasion of Schwann cells through the basal lamina in a laminin-2-dependent pathway. The results indicate a novel role of a bacterial glycolipid in determining the nerve predilection of a human pathogen.
A Mycobacterium leprae gene encoding a fibronectin binding protein is used for efficient invasion of epithelial cells and Schwann cells.
Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Missouri 63110, USA.
Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy, is an obligate intracellular pathogen. M. leprae can infect a variety of cells in vivo, including epithelial cells, muscle cells, and Schwann cells, in addition to macrophages. The ligand-receptor interactions important in the attachment and ingestion of M. leprae by these nonmacrophage cells remains unknown. Fibronectin (FN) significantly enhances both attachment and ingestion of M. leprae by epithelial and Schwann cell lines. We cloned an M. leprae FN binding protein (FN attachment protein [FAP]) distinct from the 85ABC complex which has been shown previously to bind FN. The FAP open reading frame predicts a protein of 29.5 kDa with a 39-amino-acid signal peptide and was previously described as an antigen in leprosy patients. M. leprae FAP has homologies in M. vaccae, M. avium, and M. tuberculosis, as determined by Southern blotting and direct peptide analysis. Both anti-FAP antibodies and an Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant protein significantly blocked M. leprae attachment and internalization by T-24, an epithelial cell line, and JS1, a Schwann cell line. These data suggest that FN can be a bridging opsonic ligand for attachment of mycobacteria to nonphagocytes and that FAP plays an important role in this process. This may be an important step in the initiation of M. leprae infection in vivo.
Enhanced susceptibility of thymectomized and irradiated mice to infection with Mycobacterium leprae.
Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA. email@example.com
Demyelination results in severe disability in many neurodegenerative diseases and nervous system infections, and it is typically mediated by inflammatory responses. Mycobacterium leprae, the causative organism of leprosy, induced rapid demyelination by a contact-dependent mechanism in the absence of immune cells in an in vitro nerve tissue culture model and in Rag1-knockout (Rag1-/-) mice, which lack mature B and T lymphocytes. Myelinated Schwann cells were resistant to M. leprae invasion but undergo demyelination upon bacterial attachment, whereas nonmyelinated Schwann cells harbor intracellular M. leprae in large numbers. During M. leprae-induced demyelination, Schwann cells proliferate significantly both in vitro and in vivo and generate a more nonmyelinated phenotype, thereby securing the intracellular niche for M. leprae.
Division of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90095, USA.
IL-15 is a novel cytokine with potent T cell growth factor activity. Here, we investigated the role of IL-15 in the human immune response to intracellular infection by studying patients leprosy. We found that IL-15 mRNA and protein were more strongly expressed in immunologically resistant tuberculoid patients than in with unresponsive and susceptible lepromatous patients. In vitro, Mycobacterium leprae induced IL-15 secretion from peripheral blood monocytes. Furthermore, rIL-15 by itself and in combination with rIL-2 or rIL-7 augmented PBMC proliferative responses to the pathogen. Although rIL-15 expanded the CD3-CD56+(NK) subset, rIL-15 combined with M. leprae induced the expansion of CD3+CD56+ T cells. Immunohistologic analysis of leprosy skin lesions indicated that the frequency of CD56+ cells was greatest in the group of patients with high IL-15 expression, and that >90% of the CD56+ cells in lesions were CD3+ T cells. Therefore, IL-15 augments the local T cell response to human intracellular pathogen.