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Title: Acute exposure of mice to high-dose ultrafine carbon black decreases susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia.
Authors: Tellabati, Ananth
Fernandes, Vitor E.
Teichert, Friederike
Singh, Rajinder
Rylance, J.
Gordon, S.
Andrew, Peter W.
Grigg, J.
First Published: 19-Oct-2010
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Particle and Fibre Toxicology, 2010, 7, pp. 30-30
Abstract: Background Epidemiological studies suggest that inhalation of carbonaceous particulate matter from biomass combustion increases susceptibility to bacterial pneumonia. In vitro studies report that phagocytosis of carbon black by alveolar macrophages (AM) impairs killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae. We have previously reported high levels of black carbon in AM from biomass smoke-exposed children and adults. We therefore aimed to use a mouse model to test the hypothesis that high levels of carbon loading of AM in vivo increases susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia. Methods Female outbred mice were treated with either intranasal phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or ultrafine carbon black (UF-CB in PBS; 500 μg on day 1 and day 4), and then infected with S. pneumoniae strain D39 on day 5. Survival was assessed over 72 h. The effect of UF-CB on AM carbon loading, airway inflammation, and a urinary marker of pulmonary oxidative stress was assessed in uninfected animals. Results Instillation of UF-CB in mice resulted a pattern of AM carbon loading similar to that of biomass-smoke exposed humans. In uninfected animals, UF-CB treated animals had increased urinary 8-oxodG (P = 0.055), and an increased airway neutrophil differential count (P < 0.01). All PBS-treated mice died within 72 h after infection with S. pneumoniae, whereas morbidity and mortality after infection was reduced in UF-CB treated animals (median survival 48 h vs. 30 h, P < 0.001). At 24 hr post-infection, UF-CB treated mice had lower lung and the blood S. pneumoniae colony forming unit counts, and lower airway levels of keratinocyte-derived chemokine/growth-related oncogene (KC/GRO), and interferon gamma. Conclusion Acute high level loading of AM with ultrafine carbon black particles per se does not increase the susceptibility of mice to pneumococcal infection in vivo.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1743-8977-7-30
ISSN: 1743-8977
eISSN: 1743-8977
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2010 Tellabati et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 2.0) (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

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