Interferon: Tug of War between Host and Pathogen |New Voices in Infection Biology

  • Datum: 08.07.2020
  • Uhrzeit: 16:00
  • Vortragende(r): Charlotte Odendall
  • Kings College London, UK
  • Ort: Zoom video conference
  • Gastgeber: Olivia Majer
  • Kontakt:
Interferon: Tug of War between Host and Pathogen |New Voices in Infection Biology

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Talk abstract:

Interferons (IFNs) families are part of the arsenal of mediators produced by epithelial and immune cells in response to microbial challenges. The anti-bacterial functions of type II IFN (IFNγ) are well described, while type I (IFNαs,β) and III (IFNλs) IFNs are best known for their ability to induce a so-called antiviral state, protecting tissues from viral infection. These IFNs have important roles at mucosal surfaces and are known to guard barriers sites. As a consequence, most viruses have evolved mechanisms to interfere with IFN signalling pathways.

The roles of type I and III IFNs in immunity against bacteria is still unclear, and whether pathogenic bacteria can manipulate IFN pathways has not been studied. Since IFNs have important functions at barrier sites, we hypothesized that they may protect against enteric invasive bacteria such as Salmonella and Shigella.

We have found that type I and III IFNs are strongly induced in response to bacterial ligands. Moreover, IFN treatment prevented bacterial invasion, intracellular replication and protected epithelial barriers from damage mediated by Salmonella or Shigella. In addition, we describe that Shigella has evolved mechanisms that block IFN signalling pathways. Together, these mandates further investigations into the roles of type I and III IFN families in the context of bacterial infections.

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