Background. Brucella species are facultative intracellular bacteria that cause lifelong infections in humans and livestock. Methods. Here we evaluated the contribution of B cells in control of murine brucellosis in the more susceptible BALB/c and the more resistant C57BL/6 mice by infecting B cell-deficient mice. Results. Strikingly, in the absence of B cells in both C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, 99% and 99.5% of the infection found in wild type mice was cleared, respectively. This augmented clearance was not reversed in either strain by passive transfer of immune serum. In C57BL/6 mice, the clearance of infection coincided with an increase in interferon γ (IFN-γ)- producing CD4 and CD8 T cells and a reduction in interleukin 10 (IL-10)-producing cells. In BALB/c mice, this clearance was IFN-γ- dependent, as B cell/IFN-γ dual knockout mice were unable to clear the infection, and was inversely related to the levels of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β). Furthermore, B cells were found to produce TGF-β and IL-10 during early stages of infection in BALB/c wild-type and C57BL/6 wild-type mice, respectively. Conclusions. Thus, we demonstrate that the establishment of the high plateau phase of infection is dependent on non-antibody-mediated B cell effector mechanisms, including B regulatory functions, during murine brucellosis. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Infectious Diseases
Goenka, R., Parent, M., Elzer, P., & Baldwin, C. (2011). B cell-deficient mice display markedly enhanced resistance to the intracellular bacterium Brucella abortus. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 203 (8), 1136-1146. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiq171