Journal Article

Effect of listeriolysin O-loaded erythrocytes on <i>Mycobacterium avium</i> replication within macrophages

L. Rossi, G. Brandi, M. Malatesta, S. Serafini, F. Pierigé, A. G. Celeste, G. F. Schiavano, G. Gazzanelli and M. Magnani

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 53, issue 5, pages 863-866
Published in print May 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online May 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Effect of listeriolysin O-loaded erythrocytes on Mycobacterium avium replication within macrophages

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  • Medical Oncology
  • Critical Care


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Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of erythrocytes loaded with the haemolytic toxin listeriolysin O against Mycobacterium avium replication within human macrophages.

Methods: Recombinant listeriolysin O was loaded in human erythrocytes by a procedure of hypotonic dialysis and isotonic resealing. Loaded erythrocytes were modified to allow them to be recognized and taken up by human macrophages infected with M. avium. The antimycobacterial activity of the erythrocytes loaded with listeriolysin O was evaluated by supernatant and intracellular cfu counts on days 4 and 7 post-erythrocyte administration.

Results: Recombinant listeriolysin O was encapsulated in human erythrocytes to reach final concentrations ranging from 1 to 4 ng/mL of erythrocytes. Erythrocytes loaded with increasing quantities of recombinant protein were able to reduce (at most by 50%) M. avium replication in a dose-dependent fashion when administered to infected macrophages.

Conclusions: Erythrocytes loaded with listeriolysin O are effective against M. avium replication within macrophages. We are confident that the strategy presented could be useful against mycobacteria other than M. avium (such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae) by itself or as part of an antimycobacterial treatment.

Keywords: Keywords: mycobacteria, mycobacterial phagosome, encapsulation, drug-targeting, phagocytosis

Journal Article.  2314 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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