BackgroundHaemophilus influenzae are ubiquitous colonizers of the nasopharynx, Little is known about the T cell cytokine responses to the antigens of these bacteria and whether or not the responses may interact with responses to aeroallergen.
Objective To measure the T cell cytokine responses to conserved outer membrane protein antigens of Haemophilus influenzae and to house dust mite allergen of subjects allergic to the house dust mite and of subjects without allergic sensitization.
Methods T cell responses were measured by in vitro proliferation and cytokine release from peripheral blood monocytes (PBMC). The allergen used was Der p 1 and outer membrane proteins were recombinant polypeptides representing the OMP6 and D15 antigens.
Results The PBMC of most subjects had proliferative responses to OMP6 and D15, which were highly correlated. The pattern of cytokine release was Th1 biased with high levels of IFN-γ and usually little IL-5 or IL-13 although PBMC from a few subjects did release IL-5 independent of allergic status. IL-10 release was readily detected. There was no difference in the anti-OMP cytokine response of PBMC from subjects without any known allergy and the responses of PBMC from subjects who were highly allergic to house dust mite. The responses to the Der p 1 allergen showed the expected Th2 cytokine release.
Conclusion The outer membrane protein antigens of the ubiquitous colonizing bacteria Haemophilus influenzae induce Th1 cytokine responses which are similar for PBMC from non-allergic individuals and subjects with a high degree of allergy to the perennial house dust mite allergen and strong Th2 responses to Der p 1.
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