Exit mechanisms of the intracellular bacterium ehrlichia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The obligately intracellular bacterium Ehrlichia chaffeensis that resides in mononuclear phagocytes is the causative agent of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis. Ehrlichia muris and Ixodes ovatus Ehrlichia (IOE) are agents of mouse models of ehrlichiosis. The mechanism by which Ehrlichia are transported from an infected host cell to a non-infected cell has not been demonstrated. Methodology/Principal Findings:Using fluorescence microscopy and transmission and scanning electron microscopy, we demonstrated that Ehrlichia was transported through the filopodia of macrophages during early stages of infection. If host cells were not present in the vicinity of an Ehrlichia-infected cell, the leading edge of the filopodium formed a fan-shaped structure filled with the pathogen. Formation of filopodia in the host macrophages was inhibited by cytochalasin D and ehrlichial transport were prevented due to the absence of filopodia formation. At late stages of infection the host cell membrane was ruptured, and the bacteria were released. Conclusions/Significance:Ehrlichia are transported through the host cell filopodium during initial stages of infection, but are released by host cell membrane rupture during later stages of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15775
JournalPLoS One
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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Ehrlichia
pseudopodia
Macrophages
Cell membranes
Pseudopodia
Bacteria
Cytochalasin D
Fluorescence microscopy
bacteria
Pathogens
ehrlichiosis
Ehrlichiosis
Fans
infection
Ehrlichia muris
cells
cell membranes
Infection
Transmission electron microscopy
macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Exit mechanisms of the intracellular bacterium ehrlichia. / Thomas, Sunil; Popov, Vsevolod; Walker, David.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 5, No. 12, e15775, 2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: The obligately intracellular bacterium Ehrlichia chaffeensis that resides in mononuclear phagocytes is the causative agent of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis. Ehrlichia muris and Ixodes ovatus Ehrlichia (IOE) are agents of mouse models of ehrlichiosis. The mechanism by which Ehrlichia are transported from an infected host cell to a non-infected cell has not been demonstrated. Methodology/Principal Findings:Using fluorescence microscopy and transmission and scanning electron microscopy, we demonstrated that Ehrlichia was transported through the filopodia of macrophages during early stages of infection. If host cells were not present in the vicinity of an Ehrlichia-infected cell, the leading edge of the filopodium formed a fan-shaped structure filled with the pathogen. Formation of filopodia in the host macrophages was inhibited by cytochalasin D and ehrlichial transport were prevented due to the absence of filopodia formation. At late stages of infection the host cell membrane was ruptured, and the bacteria were released. Conclusions/Significance:Ehrlichia are transported through the host cell filopodium during initial stages of infection, but are released by host cell membrane rupture during later stages of infection.",
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