Adaptive immune defense prevents Bartonella persistence upon trans-placental transmission

Siewert, Lena K. and Dehio, Christoph and Pinschewer, Daniel D.. (2022) Adaptive immune defense prevents Bartonella persistence upon trans-placental transmission. PLoS Pathogens, 18 (5). e1010489.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY (Attribution).


Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/90019/

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Vertical transmission of Bartonella infection has been reported for several mammalian species including mice and humans. Accordingly, it is commonly held that acquired immunological tolerance contributes critically to the high prevalence of Bartonellae in wild-ranging rodent populations. Here we studied an experimental model of Bartonella infection in mice to assess the impact of maternal and newborn immune defense on vertical transmission and bacterial persistence in the offspring, respectively. Congenital infection was frequently observed in B cell-deficient mothers but not in immunocompetent dams, which correlated with a rapid onset of an antibacterial antibody response in infected WT animals. Intriguingly, B cell-deficient offspring with congenital infection exhibited long-term bacteremia whereas B cell-sufficient offspring cleared bacteremia within a few weeks after birth. Clearance of congenital Bartonella infection resulted in immunity against bacterial rechallenge, with the animals mounting Bartonella-neutralizing antibody responses of normal magnitude. These observations reveal a key role for humoral immune defense by the mother and offspring in preventing and eliminating vertical transmission. Moreover, congenital Bartonella infection does not induce humoral immune tolerance but results in anti-bacterial immunity, questioning the contribution of neonatal tolerance to Bartonella prevalence in wild-ranging rodents.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Molecular Microbiology (Dehio)
UniBasel Contributors:Dehio, Christoph
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:10 Oct 2022 14:16
Deposited On:10 Oct 2022 14:16

Repository Staff Only: item control page