Streptococcus agalactiae infects glial cells and invades the central nervous system via the olfactory and trigeminal nerves

Chacko, Anu, Delbaz, Ali, Choudhury, Indra N., Eindorf, Tanja, Shah, Megha, Godfrey, Christopher, Sullivan, Mathew J. ORCID:, St John, James A., Ulett, Glen C. and Ekberg, Jenny A. K. (2022) Streptococcus agalactiae infects glial cells and invades the central nervous system via the olfactory and trigeminal nerves. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 12. ISSN 2235-2988

[thumbnail of fcimb-12-793416]
PDF (fcimb-12-793416) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (26MB) | Preview


Streptococcus agalactiae causes neonatal meningitis and can also infect the adult central nervous system (CNS). S. agalactiae can cross the blood-brain barrier but may also reach the CNS via other paths. Several species of bacteria can directly invade the CNS via the olfactory and trigeminal nerves, which extend between the nasal cavity and brain and injury to the nasal epithelium can increase the risk/severity of infection. Preterm birth is associated with increased risk of S. agalactiae infection and with nasogastric tube feeding. The tubes, also used in adults, can cause nasal injuries and may be contaminated with bacteria, including S. agalactiae. We here investigated whether S. agalactiae could invade the CNS after intranasal inoculation in mice. S. agalactiae rapidly infected the olfactory nerve and brain. Methimazole-mediated model of nasal epithelial injury led to increased bacterial load in these tissues, as well as trigeminal nerve infection. S. agalactiae infected and survived intracellularly in cultured olfactory/trigeminal nerve- and brain-derived glia, resulting in cytokine production, with some differences between glial types. Furthermore, a non-capsulated S. agalactiae was used to understand the role of capsule on glial cells interaction. Interestingly, we found that the S. agalactiae capsule significantly altered cytokine and chemokine responses and affected intracellular survival in trigeminal glia. In summary, this study shows that S. agalactiae can infect the CNS via the nose-to-brain path with increased load after epithelial injury, and that the bacteria can survive in glia.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This study was supported by a Menzies Health Institute Queensland Capacity Grant (Griffith University) to JE, MS, and GU and a Clem Jones Foundation grant to JE and JS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Uncontrolled Keywords: astrocyte,bacteria,central nervous system,olfactory ensheathing cell,peripheral nerve,schwann cell,streptococcus agalactiae,microbiology,immunology,microbiology (medical),infectious diseases,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2400/2404
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 10:30
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 06:49
DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2022.793416

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item