Co-infection of Malassezia sympodialis With Bacterial Pathobionts Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus Leads to Distinct Sinonasal Inflammatory Responses in a Murine Acute Sinusitis Model

Keehoon Lee, Irene Zhang, Shari Kyman, Oliver Kask, Emily Kathryn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Host-associated bacteria and fungi, comprising the microbiota, are critical to host health. In the airways, the composition and diversity of the mucosal microbiota of patients are associated with airway health status. However, the relationship between airway microbiota and respiratory inflammation is not well-understood. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a complex disease that affects up to 14% of the US population. Previous studies have shown decreased microbial diversity in CRS patients and enrichment of either Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Although bacterial community composition is variable across CRS patients, Malassezia is a dominant fungal genus in the upper airways of the majority of healthy and CRS subjects. We hypothesize that distinct bacterial-fungal interactions differentially influence host mucosal immune response. Thus, we investigated in vitro and in vivo interactions between Malassezia sympodialis, P. aeruginosa, and S. aureus. The in vitro interactions were evaluated using the modified Kirby-Bauer Assay, Crystal Violet assay for biofilm, and FISH. A pilot murine model of acute sinusitis was used to investigate relationships with the host immune response. S. aureus and P. aeruginosa were intranasally instilled in the presence or absence of M. sympodialis (n = 66 total mice; 3–5/group). Changes in the microbiota were determined using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and host immune response was measured using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). In vitro, only late stage planktonic P. aeruginosa and its biofilms inhibited M. sympodialis. Co-infection of mice with M. sympodialis and P. aeruginosa or S. aureus differently influenced the immune response. In co-infected mice, we demonstrate different expression of fungal sensing (Dectin-1), allergic responses (IL-5, and IL-13) and inflammation (IL-10, and IL-17) in murine sinus depending on the bacterial species that co-infected with M. sympodialis (p < 0.05). The pilot results suggest that species-specific interactions in airway-associated microbiota may be implicated driving immune responses. The understanding of the role of bacterial-fungal interactions in CRS will contribute to development of novel therapies toward manipulation of the airway microbiota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number472
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 4 2020

Keywords

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • bacterial-fungal interactions
  • interkingdom interactions
  • malassezia
  • sinus microbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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