Species-specific mechanisms of cytotoxicity toward immune cells determine the successful outcome of Vibrio infections

Vibrio species cause infectious diseases in humans and animals, but they can also live as commensals within their host tissues. How Vibrio subverts the host defenses to mount a successful infection remains poorly understood, and this knowledge is critical for predicting and managing disease. Here, we have investigated the cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning infection and colonization of 2 virulent Vibrio species in an ecologically relevant host model, oyster, to study interactions with marine Vibrio species. All Vibrio strains were recognized by the immune system, but only nonvirulent strains were controlled. We showed that virulent strains were cytotoxic to hemocytes, oyster immune cells. By analyzing host and bacterial transcriptional responses to infection, together with Vibrio gene knock-outs, we discovered that Vibrio crassostreae and Vibrio tasmaniensis use distinct mechanisms to cause hemocyte lysis. Whereas V. crassostreae cytotoxicity is dependent on a direct contact with hemocytes and requires an ancestral gene encoding a protein of unknown function, r5.7, V. tasmaniensis cytotoxicity is dependent on phagocytosis and requires intracellular secretion of T6SS effectors. We conclude that proliferation of commensal vibrios is controlled by the host immune system, preventing systemic infections in oysters, whereas the successful infection of virulent strains relies on Vibrio species-specific molecular determinants that converge to compromise host immune cell function, allowing evasion of the host immune system.


T6SS, toxin, dual RNA-seq, cytolysis, pathogenesis

How to cite
Rubio Tristan, Oyanedel Daniel, Labreuche Yannick, Toulza Eve, Luo Xing, Bruto Maxime, Chaparro Cristian, Torres Marta, de Lorgeril Julien, Haffner Philippe, Vidal-Dupiol Jeremie, Lagorce Arnaud, Petton Bruno, Mitta Guillaume, Jacq Annick, Le Roux Frederique, Charriere Guillaume, Destoumieux-Garzon Delphine (2019). Species-specific mechanisms of cytotoxicity toward immune cells determine the successful outcome of Vibrio infections. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America. 116 (28). 14238-14247. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905747116, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00507/61837/

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