Role of a fluid-phase PRR in fighting an intracellular pathogen: PTX3 in Shigella infection

Valeria Ciancarella, Luigi Lembo-Fazio, Ida Paciello, Anna-Karin Bruno, Sébastien Jaillon, Sara Berardi, Marialuisa Barbagallo, Shiri Meron-Sudai, Dani Cohen, Antonio Molinaro, Giacomo Rossi, Cecilia Garlanda, Maria Lina Bernardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Shigella spp. are pathogenic bacteria that cause bacillary dysentery in humans by invading the colonic and rectal mucosa where they induce dramatic inflammation. Here, we have analyzed the role of the soluble PRR Pentraxin 3 (PTX3), a key component of the humoral arm of innate immunity. Mice that had been intranasally infected with S. flexneri were rescued from death by treatment with recombinant PTX3. In vitro PTX3 exerts the antibacterial activity against Shigella, impairing epithelial cell invasion and contributing to the bactericidal activity of serum. PTX3 is produced upon LPS-TLR4 stimulation in accordance with the lipid A structure of Shigella. In the plasma of infected patients, the level of PTX3 amount only correlates strongly with symptom severity. These results signal PTX3 as a novel player in Shigella pathogenesis and its potential role in fighting shigellosis. Finally, we suggest that the plasma level of PTX3 in shigellosis patients could act as a biomarker for infection severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1007469
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Animals
  • C-Reactive Protein/immunology
  • Dysentery, Bacillary/immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate/immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component/immunology
  • Shigella flexneri/immunology


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