Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Expands a Population of NKG2D+CD8+ T Cells That Exacerbates Disease in Mice Coinfected with Leishmania major.
Leishmaniasis is a significant neglected tropical disease that is associated with a wide range of clinical presentations and a lifelong persistent infection. Because of the chronic nature of the disease, there is a high risk for coinfection occurring in patients, and how coinfections influence the outcome of leishmaniasis is poorly understood. To address this issue, we infected mice with Leishmania major and 2 wk later with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and then monitored the course of infection. Leishmania parasites are controlled by production of IFN-γ, which leads to macrophage-mediated parasite killing. Thus, one might predict that coinfection with LCMV, which induces a strong systemic type 1 response, would accelerate disease resolution. However, we found that infection with LCMV led to significantly enhanced disease in L. major-infected animals. This increased disease correlated with an infiltration into the leishmanial lesions of NKG2D(+) CD8(+) T cells producing granzyme B, but surprisingly little IFN-γ. We found that depletion of CD8 T cells after viral clearance, as well as blockade of NKG2D, reversed the increased pathology seen in coinfected mice. Thus, this work highlights the impact a secondary infection can have on leishmaniasis and demonstrates that even pathogens known to promote a type 1 response may exacerbate leishmanial infections.
Crosby, EJ; Clark, M; Novais, FO; Wherry, EJ; Scott, P
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