eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 43
Experimental immunology

Age-related variations in the in vitro bactericidal activity of human sera against Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Akram Khan
Isfahan Tauseef
Bibi Aalia
Muhammad Azam Khan
Sadia Akbar
Nighat Sultana
Kashif S. Haleem

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2018; 43 (1): 18-25)
Online publish date: 2018/03/30
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The human serum is a vital component of the innate immunity of the host that acts as the first line of defence against invading pathogens. A key player in serum-mediated innate immune defence is a system of more than 35 proteins, collectively named as the complement system. After exposure of the pathogen, these proteins are activated in a cascade manner, ultimately forming a membrane attack complex (MAC) on the surface of the pathogen that directly lyses the bacterial cell. Formation of the MAC can be demonstrated in vitro by using serum bactericidal assay (SBA) that works in the absence of cellular components of blood after incubating the serum along with bacteria. Here, we describe the age-related differences in the bactericidal activity of human serum against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic human pathogen causing an array of hospital and community-acquired infections.

We demonstrate that adult sera were highly effective in the in vitro killing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as compared to children and the elderly (p < 0.0001). Sera from children were seriously compromised in the killing P. aeruginosa, whereas elderly sera showed a reduced level of killing. Data revealed a positive correlation between age and serum-killing with higher coefficient of determination values of 0.34, 0.27, and 0.58 and p values of < 0.0001, < 0.001, and < 0.0001, respectively, after 60, 90, and 120 minutes of incubation. Hence, our study highlights the age-related difference in the bactericidal activity of human sera. We conclude that sera of children are totally compromised, whereas elderly sera are only partially compromised, in the killing of P. aeruginosa.

complement system, Pseudomonas, serum bactericidal assay

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