Research Highlights: Gut Microbiome Play A Role In Resistance to Viral Infection

Original Article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.047

  • Interferons (IFN-I) are proteins that play a role in antiviral immunity.
  • Interferons are naturally occurring substance that inhibits the ability of viruses to replicate.
  • Interferons can also improve the immune system.
  • However, the source of IFN-I signaling under homeostatic conditions is not well understood.
  • Researchers discovered that commensal bacteria regulate the IFN-I response through induction of another interferon (IFN-β) by dendritic cells in colon.
  • Dendritic cells are antigen presenting cells that have a unique ability to initiate and regulate immune responses.
  • In addition, the mechanism by which a specific commensal bacteria induces IFN-β was discovered.
  • Gut commensal bacteria which belongs to the phylum Bacteroidetes were found to be responsible for inducing the expression of IFN-β.
  • Bacteroidetes are the largest phylum of Gram-negative bacteria inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Researchers used Bacteroides fragilis and its polysaccharide A to determine how IFN-β expression was induced.
  • Bacteroides fragilis are among the leading pathogens isolated in the setting of intra-abdominal infections.
  • The study found that the antiviral activity of these purified microbial molecules against infection with vesicular stomatitis virus or influenza was dependent on the induction of IFN-β.
  • Vesicular stomatitis virus is a zoonotic arbovirus that belongs to the family, Rhabdoviridae, the same family as the rabies viruses.
  • The result suggests that IFN-β-inducing microbial molecule may contribute to the development of treatment for some human diseases.

Source:

Stefan KL, Kim MV, Iwasaki A, Kasper DL. Commensal Microbiota Modulation of Natural Resistance to Virus Infection. Cell. 2020 Nov 13:S0092-8674(20)31454-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.047. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33212011/

https://www.medicinenet.com/interferon/definition.htm

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/dendritic-cell

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323908534_Exploring_Bacteroidetes_Metabolic_key_points_and_immunological_tricks_of_our_gut_commensals

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6234a2.htm?s_cid=mm6234a2_w

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/vesicular-stomatitis-virus


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