Journal Article

Nonencapsulated <i>Streptococcus pneumoniae</i> resists extracellular human neutrophil elastase- and cathepsin G-mediated killing

Dieke van der Windt, Hester J. Bootsma, Peter Burghout, Christa E. van der Gaast-de Jongh, Peter W.M. Hermans and Michiel van der Flier

in FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology

Volume 66, issue 3, pages 445-448
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0928-8244
Published online November 2012 | e-ISSN: 1574-695X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.2012.01028.x
Nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae resists extracellular human neutrophil elastase- and cathepsin G-mediated killing

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Abstract

Although the Streptococcus pneumoniae polysaccharide capsule is an important virulence factor, ∼ 15% of carriage isolates are nonencapsulated. Nonencapsulated S. pneumoniae are a cause of mucosal infections. Recent studies have shown that neutrophils kill S. pneumoniae predominately through neutrophil proteases, such as elastase and cathepsin G. Another recent finding is that nonencapsulated pneumococci have greater resistance to resist cationic antimicrobial peptides that are important in mucosal immunity. We here show that nonencapsulated pneumococci have greater resistance to extracellular human neutrophil elastase- and cathepsin G-mediated killing than isogenic encapsulated pneumococci. Resistance to extracellular neutrophil protease-mediated killing is likely to be of greater relative importance on mucosal surfaces compared to other body sites.

Keywords: Streptococcus pneumoniae; nonserotypeable; capsule; cathepsin G; elastase

Journal Article.  1782 words.  Illustrated.

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