Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae evades phagocytic uptake by porcine alveolar macrophages in vitro

Deeney, A S and Maglennon, G A and Chapat, L and Crussard, S and Jolivet, E and Rycroft, A N (2019) Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae evades phagocytic uptake by porcine alveolar macrophages in vitro. VETERINARY RESEARCH, 50 (51).

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Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, the agent of porcine enzootic pneumonia (EP), is able to persist in the lung tissue and evade destruction by the host for several weeks. To understand the mechanism of pathogen survival, phagocytic uptake of M. hyopneumoniae by primary porcine alveolar macrophages was investigated. Intracellular location and survival of the pathogen were explored using gentamicin survival assays, flow cytometry and confocal microscopy of M. hyopneumoniae 232 labelled with green fluorescent protein (GFP). Following 1 h and 16 h of co-incubation, few viable M. hyopneumoniae were recovered from inside macrophages. Flow cytometric analysis of macrophages incubated with M. hyopneumoniae expressing GFP indicated that the mycoplasmas became associated with macrophages, but were shown to be extracellular when actin-dependent phagocytosis was blocked with cytochalasin D. Confocal microscopy detected GFP-labelled M. hyopneumoniae inside macrophages and the numbers increased modestly with time of incubation. Neither the addition of porcine serum complement or convalescent serum from EP-recovered pigs was able to enhance engulfment of M. hyopneumoniae. This investigation suggests that M. hyopneumoniae evades significant uptake by porcine alveolar macrophages and this may be a mechanism of immune escape by M. hyopneumoniae in the porcine respiratory tract.

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