Sterilization of granulomas is common in both active and latent tuberculosis despite extensive within-host variability in bacterial killing
Lin, Philana Ling
Ford, Christopher B.
Coleman, M. Teresa
Myers, Amy J.
Flynn, JoAnne L.
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CitationLin, Philana Ling, Christopher B. Ford, M. Teresa Coleman, Amy J. Myers, Richa Gawande, Thomas Ioerger, James Sacchettini, Sarah M. Fortune, and JoAnne L. Flynn. 2013. “Sterilization of granulomas is common in both active and latent tuberculosis despite extensive within-host variability in bacterial killing.” Nature medicine 20 (1): 75-79. doi:10.1038/nm.3412. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm.3412.
AbstractOver 30% of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), yet only ~5–10% will develop clinical disease1. Despite considerable effort, we understand little about what distinguishes individuals who progress to active tuberculosis (TB) from those who remain latent for decades. The variable course of disease is recapitulated in cynomolgus macaques infected with Mtb2. Active disease in macaques is defined by clinical, microbiologic and immunologic signs and occurs in ~45% of animals, while the remaining are clinically asymptomatic2,3. Here, we use barcoded Mtb isolates and quantitative measures of culturable and cumulative bacterial burden to show that most lesions are likely founded by a single bacterium and reach similar maximum burdens. Despite common origins, the fate of individual lesions varies substantially within the same host. Strikingly, in active disease, the host sterilizes some lesions even while others progress. Our data suggest that lesional heterogeneity arises, in part, through differential killing of bacteria after the onset of adaptive immunity. Thus, individual lesions follow diverse and overlapping trajectories, suggesting critical responses occur at a lesional level to ultimately determine the clinical outcome of infection. Defining the local factors that dictate outcome will be important in developing effective interventions to prevent active TB.
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