The Protective Role of Interleukin 17A in Acinetobacter baumannii Pneumonia Is Associated with Candida albicans in the Airway

Jiaxin Tang, Jiamin Li, Jinqing Pan, Xiaoyuan Shen, Xiangsheng Ye, Jiamin Zhou, Ni Wang, Liang Xie, Beth Burgwyn Fuchs, Michail S. Lionakis, Eleftherios Mylonakis, Xiaojiang Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies have found that the coexistence of fungi and bacteria in the airway may increase the risk of infection, contribute to the development of pneumonia, and increase the severity of disease. Interleukin 17A (IL-17A) plays important roles in host resistance to bacterial and fungal infections. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of IL-17A on Acinetobacter baumannii-infected rats with a previous Candida albicans airway inoculation. The incidence of A. baumannii pneumonia was higher in rats with C. albicans in the airway than in noninoculated rats, and it decreased when amphotericin B was used to clear C. albicans, which influenced IL-17A levels. IL-17A had a protective effect in A. baumannii pneumonia associated with C. albicans in the airway. Compared with A. baumannii-infected rats with C. albicans in the airway that did not receive IL-17A, recombinant IL-17A (rIL-17A) supplementation decreased the incidence of A. baumannii pneumonia (10/15 versus 5/17; P = 0.013) and the proportion of neutrophils in the lung (84 6 3.5 versus 74 6 4.3%; P = 0.033), reduced tissue destruction and inflammation, and decreased levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) (1.267 6 0.15 versus 0.233 6 0.06 U/g; P = 0.0004), reactive oxygen species (ROS) (132,333 6 7,505 versus 64,667 6 10,115 AU; P = 0.0007) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (2.736 6 0.05 versus 2.1816 6 0.29 U/g; P = 0.0313). In vitro experiments revealed that IL-17A had no significant effect on the direct migration ability and bactericidal capability of neutrophils. However, IL-17A restrained lysis cell death and increased apoptosis of neutrophils (2.9 6 1.14 versus 7 6 0.5%; P = 0.0048). Taken together, our results suggest that C. albicans can depress IL-17A levels, which when supplemented may have a regulatory function that limits the accumulation of neutrophils in inflammatory areas, providing inflammatory response homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • apoptosis
  • Candida albicans
  • interleukin 17A
  • neutrophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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