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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Caspase-1 dependent macrophage death induced by Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent for melioidosis, an infectious disease endemic in South-east Asia and northern Australia. Infection can result in a wide spectrum of clinical outcomes, including asymtomatic, acute or chronic conditions. The ability of the bacteria to survive intracellularly within phagocytes and non-phagocytes is postulated to help this pathogen persist in the body during latent chronic conditions. In some Gram-negative bacteria, such as Shigella and Salmonella, the ability to evade macrophage killing involves inducing rapid macrophage cell death. In several of these instances, these bacteria activate cellular caspase-1 to induce cell death, which is increasingly described to exhibit features more characteristic of oncosis than classical apoptosis. We found that B. pseudomallei is also capable of inducing caspase-1 dependent death in macrophages and this process requires a functional bsa Type III Secretion System (TTSS). Bacterial internalization and pore formation in the cell membrane is necessary for death. Furthermore, cell death is accompanied by the release of IL-1beta and IL-18. We believe that this novel description of macrophage death induced by B. pseudomallei could shed light on the pathogenesis of the bacteria in disease.[1]


  1. Caspase-1 dependent macrophage death induced by Burkholderia pseudomallei. Sun, G.W., Lu, J., Pervaiz, S., Cao, W.P., Gan, Y.H. Cell. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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