Natural and recombinant interferons inhibit epithelial cell invasion by Shigella spp.

D. W. Niesel, C. B. Hess, Y. J. Cho, K. D. Klimpel, G. R. Klimpel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Scopus citations


    The effect of natural and recombinant interferons (IFNs) on the abilities of Shigella flexneri, S. sonnei, and Salmonella typhimurium to invade different human and murine cells was examined. Pretreatment of cell monolayers with natural and recombinant IFNs reduced the number of Shigella-infected cells in a dose-dependent manner. Establishment of an anti-invasive cellular state was time dependent, requiring 10 h for 50% inhibition of bacterial invasion. The inhibitory effect of IFN was species specific, with human or murine IFN effective against homologous but not heterologous cells. Gamma IFN was slightly more potent than alpha IFN at inhibiting bacterial invasion. Inhibition of Shigella invasion was dependent on the challenge dose of bacteria. Little inhibition of invasion was seen when cells pretreated with low concentrations of IFN and challenged with high multiplicities of infection of Shigella sp. In contrast to Shigella invasion, the maximum inhibitory effect of IFN on Salmonella invasion of cells was observed at low levels (5 to 50 U) of IFN. These results suggest that Shigella and Salmonella invasions occur at unique sites on eucaryotic cells or by different penetration mechanisms. More importantly, these data suggest that IFN may play a significant role in host defense against Shigella and Salmonella infections.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)828-833
    Number of pages6
    JournalInfection and immunity
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1986

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Parasitology
    • Microbiology
    • Immunology
    • Infectious Diseases

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