Mycobacterium avium serovars 2 and 8 infections elicit unique activation of the host macrophage immune responses

B. R. Cebula, J. M. Rocco, J. N. Maslow, V. R. Irani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mycobacterium avium is an opportunistic pathogen whose pathogenesis is attributed to its serovar-specific glycopeptidolipid (ssGPL), which varies among its 31 serovars. To determine if the presence and type of ssGPLs contribute to M. avium pathogenesis, we infected murine macrophages (mωs) with two M. avium wild type (wt) serovars (2 and 8) and their serovar-null strains. We examined the influence of ssGPL (presence and type) on cytokine production in non-activated (?IFN-γ) and activated (+IFN- γ) mωs, and the bacterial intra-mω survival over a 6-day infection process. Serovar-2 infections activated TNF-α production that increased over the 6 day period and was capable of controlling the intra-mω serovar-2 null strain. In contrast, the serovar-8 infection stimulated a strong proinflammatory response, but was incapable of removing the invading pathogen, maybe through IL-10 production. It was clear that the intracellular growth of serovar-null in contrast to the wt M. avium strains was easily controlled. Based on our findings and the undisputed fact that M. avium ssGPL is key to its pathogenesis, we conclude that it is not appropriate to dissect the pathogenesis of one M. avium serovar and apply those findings to other serovars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3407-3412
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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