Aspergillus-induced superoxide production by cystic fibrosis phagocytes is associated with disease severity

Shan F. Brunel, Janet A. Willment, Gordon D. Brown, Graham Devereux, Adilia Warris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Aspergillus fumigatus infects up to 50% of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and may play a role in progressive lung disease. As cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator is expressed in cells of the innate immune system, we hypothesised that impaired antifungal immune responses play a role in CF-related Aspergillus lung disease. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) and monocytes were isolated from blood samples taken from CF patients and healthy volunteers. Live-cell imaging and colorimetric assays were used to assess antifungal activity in vitro. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured using luminol-induced chemiluminescence and was related to clinical metrics as collected by case report forms. CF phagocytes are as effective as those from healthy controls with regards to phagocytosis, killing and restricting germination of A. fumigatus conidia. ROS production by CF phagocytes was up to four-fold greater than healthy controls (p<0.05). This effect could not be replicated in healthy phagocytes by priming with lipopolysaccharide or serum from CF donors. Increased production of ROS against A. fumigatus by CF PMN was associated with an increased number of clinical exacerbations in the previous year (p=0.007) and reduced lung function (by forced expiratory volume in 1 s) (p=0.014). CF phagocytes mount an intrinsic exaggerated release of ROS upon A. fumigatus stimulation which is associated with clinical disease severity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number00068-2017
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalERJ Open Research
Issue number2
Early online date9 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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