Viral hemagglutinin is involved in promoting the internalisation of Staphylococcus aureus into human pneumocytes during influenza A H1N1 virus infection

Claudio Passariello, Lucia Nencioni, Rossella Sgarbanti, Danilo Ranieri, Maria Rosaria Torrisi, Sandro Ripa, Enrico Garaci, Anna Teresa Palamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Secondary pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus is reemerging as a primary cause of excess mortality associated with infection by the influenza A virus. We have investigated in vitro the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this synergism. Experimental data show a significant increase in the efficiency of internalisation of S. aureus into cultured pneumocytes during the early phases of viral infection, while a relevant increase in the efficiency of adhesion is evident only later during viral infection, suggesting that the 2 effects are based on different molecular mechanisms. Data reported in this paper show that S. aureus cells can bind the viral hemagglutinin (HA) and that this binding promotes enhanced bacterial internalisation by 2 mechanisms: binding to HA exposed at the surface of infected cells and binding to free extracellular virions, enabling internalisation at high efficiency also in cells that are not infected by the virus. The affinity of binding that involves S. aureus and HA was shown to be enhanced by the reducing extracellular environment that the virus can generate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of medical microbiology : IJMM
Volume301
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

Keywords

  • Hemagglutinin
  • Influenza
  • Internalisation
  • Secondary bacterial pneumonia
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)

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