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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Investigating respiratory tract infections

Jodie Ackland, a postgraduate research student within the Faculty of Medicine (Clinical and Experimental Sciences) at University Hospital Southampton, presented this research at the Global-NAMRIP Festival of Early Career Research on 25 June 2019. The poster can be downloaded via the 'Useful Downloads' link below.

Respiratory tract pathogen infecting macrophages
Respiratory tract pathogen infecting macrophages

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a bacterium commonly isolated from the airway of people with asthma. NTHi is genetically diverse, resulting in surface proteins differing across strains. It is not clear whether these differences compromise the ability of airway immune cells to recognise and clear NTHi.

Macrophages (a type of white blood cell) are a crucial immune cell in the airway, responsible for recognising bacteria, eating them and releasing inflammatory proteins to prevent infection spreading.  The team investigated whether diverse NTHi strains induce a different macrophage response.

Jodie Ackland Poster

Assessment of NTHi strains was undertaken using a computational package to select diverse strains to infect macrophages. Depending on the strain used, there was differential expression of macrophage immune response genes, release of inflammatory proteins and amounts of NTHi detected within macrophages.

This work suggests that the macrophage response is strain-dependent. Understanding NTHi strain diversity may allow identification of therapeutics that can affect these diverse targets and prevent infection.

The authors of this research are Jodie Ackland, Karen Osman, C. Mirella Spalluto, David W. Cleary, Myron Christodoulides, Tom M.A. Wilkinson and Karl J. Staples from the Faculty of Medicine.

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