The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Braz J Infect Dis 2016;20:160-5 - Vol. 20 Num.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.bjid.2015.11.002
Original article
Evaluation of the role of Mycobacterium tuberculosis pili (MTP) as an adhesin, invasin, and cytokine inducer of epithelial cells
Saiyur Ramsugita, Balakrishna Pillayb, Manormoney Pillaya,,
a Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
b School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Received 17 August 2015, Accepted 26 November 2015
Abstract

This study was undertaken in order to assess the involvement of Mycobacterium tuberculosis pili (MTP) as an adhesin, invasin, and cytokine inducer in the M. tuberculosis-epithelial cell interaction. A MTP-deficient strain of M. tuberculosis demonstrated a significant reduction of 69.39% (p=0.047) and 56.20% (p=0.033) in its ability to adhere to and invade A549 pulmonary epithelial cells, respectively, in comparison with the wild-type strain. Complementation of the MTP-deficient mutant restored its adhesion and invasion capacity back to the wild-type levels. Overall, it was found that similar concentrations of IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, G-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, and TNF-α were induced in A549 cells infected with the MTP-proficient and MTP-deficient strains. However, at 48h post-infection, the MTP-deficient mutant induced significantly lower levels of TNF-α than the wild-type strain (p=0.033). Furthermore, at 72h post-infection, the mutant induced significantly higher levels of IL-8 than the wild-type (p=0.005). We conclude that MTP is an adhesin/invasin of epithelial cells and, while playing a role in M. tuberculosis entry, they do not appear to largely influence the epithelial cell cytokine response.

Keywords
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Curli pili, Adhesin, Invasin
Braz J Infect Dis 2016;20:160-5 - Vol. 20 Num.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.bjid.2015.11.002