Lipopolysaccharide O-Antigen Prevents Phagocytosis of Vibrio anguillarum by Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Skin Epithelial Cells
AuthorLindell, Kristoffer; Fahlgren, Anna; Hjerde, Erik; Willassen, Nils Peder; Fällman, Maria; Milton, Debra L
Colonization of host tissues is a first step taken by many pathogens during the initial stages of infection. Despite the impact of bacterial disease on wild and farmed fish, only a few direct studies have characterized bacterial factors required for colonization of fish tissues. In this study, using live-cell and confocal microscopy, rainbow trout skin epithelial cells, the main structural component of the skin epidermis, were demonstrated to phagocytize bacteria. Mutant analyses showed that the fish pathogen Vibrio anguillarum required the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen to evade phagocytosis and that O-antigen transport required the putative wzm-wzt-wbhA operon, which encodes two ABC polysaccharide transporter proteins and a methyltransferase. Pretreatment of the epithelial cells with mannose prevented phagocytosis of V. anguillarum suggesting that a mannose receptor is involved in the uptake process. In addition, the O-antigen transport mutants could not colonize the skin but they did colonize the intestines of rainbow trout. The O-antigen polysaccharides were also shown to aid resistance to the antimicrobial factors, lysozyme and polymyxin B. In summary, rainbow trout skin epithelial cells play a role in the fish innate immunity by clearing bacteria from the skin epidermis. In defense, V. anguillarum utilizes O-antigen polysaccharides to evade phagocytosis by the epithelial cells allowing it to colonize rapidly fish skin tissues.
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
CitationPLoS ONE (2012), vol. 7(5): e37678
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