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Immunology and Infection

Assessing Respiratory Immune Responses to Haemophilus Influenzae

Published: June 29th, 2021

DOI:

10.3791/62572

1Monash Lung and Sleep, Monash Medical Centre, 2Monash University Department of Medicine, Monash Medical Centre, 3Flow Cytometry Science Technology Platform, Francis Crick Institute, 4Clinical Immunology, Monash Medical Centre, 5Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University

Haemophilus influenzae induces inflammation in the respiratory tract. This article will focus on the use of flow cytometry and confocal microscopy to define immune responses by phagocytes and lymphocytes in response to this bacterium.

Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) is a prevalent bacterium found in a range of respiratory conditions. A variety of different assays/techniques may be used to assess the respiratory immune/inflammatory response to this bacterium. Flow cytometry and confocal microscopy are fluorescence-based technologies that allow detailed characterization of biological responses. Different forms of Hi antigen can be used, including cell wall components, killed/inactivated preparations, and live bacteria. Hi is a fastidious bacterium that requires enriched media but is generally easy to grow in standard laboratory settings. Tissue samples for stimulation with Hi may be obtained from peripheral blood, bronchoscopy, or resected lung (e.g., in patients undergoing surgery for the treatment of lung cancer). Macrophage and neutrophil function may be comprehensively assessed using flow cytometry with a variety of parameters measured, including phagocytosis, reactive oxygen species, and intracellular cytokine production. Lymphocyte function (e.g., T cell and NK cell function) may be specifically assessed using flow cytometry, principally for intracellular cytokine production. Hi infection is a potent inducer of extracellular trap production, both by neutrophils (NETs) and macrophages (METs). Confocal microscopy is arguably the most optimal way to assess NET and MET expression, which may also be used to assess protease activity. Lung immunity to Haemophilus influenzae can be assessed using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.

Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) is a normal commensal bacterium present in the pharynx of most healthy adults. Hi may have a polysaccharide capsule (types A-F, e.g., type B or HiB) or lack a capsule and be nontypeable (NTHi)1. Colonization of the mucosa with this bacterium begins in early childhood, and there is a turnover of different colonizing strains2. This bacterium is also capable of invasion of both the upper and lower respiratory tract; in this context, it may induce activation of the immune response and inflammation3,4. This inflammatory response ma....

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This work was approved by the human research ethics committee of Monash Health. The protocol follows the guidelines of the human research ethics committee.

1. Antigenic preparation

NOTE: Three different antigenic preparations can be used to assess the immune response to Hi. These are 1) a subcellular component (typically from the bacterial cell wall); 2) killed and inactivated bacteria; and 3) live bacteria. Determine the use of each antigenic preparation prior to the.......

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The representative results show how inflammatory immune responses to NTHi can be assessed/quantitated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. A key part of the interpretation of the results is the comparison in fluorescence between control and stimulated samples. A number of preliminary experiments are usually required to optimize the staining of samples. How many different colors can be examined simultaneously will depend on the number of channels available on the flow cytometer/confocal microscope. Results are shown.......

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The methods listed here use fluorescence-based flow cytometry and confocal microscopy techniques that can be used in conjunction to obtain detailed information about the inflammatory lung response to Hi.

Establishing the appropriate antigenic formulation of Hi to be used is critical, and it is advisable to have specific input from a microbiologist in this regard. Live Hi induces a stronger response, while killed Hi preparations and Hi components are more standardized and are easier to store. P.......

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The authors would like to thank the staff of Clinical Immunology at Monash Health for their assistance with this work.

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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Ammonium chloride Sigma Aldrich 213330
Brefeldin Sigma Aldrich B6542
CD28 Thermofisher 16-0289-81
CD49d Thermofisher 534048
DAPI prolong gold Thermofisher P36931
DHR123 Sigma Aldrich 109244-58-8
Filcon sterile nylon mesh Becton Dickinson 340606
Gelatin substrate, Enzchek Molecular probes E12055
MACS mix tube rotater Miltenyi Biotec 130-090-753
Medimachine Becton Dickinson Catalogue number not available
Medicons 50 µm Becton Dickinson 340592
Pansorbin Sigma Aldrich 507858
Propidium iodide Sigma Aldrich P4170
Saponin Sigma Aldrich 8047152
Superfrost slides Thermofisher 11562203

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