Congenitally impaired pattern-recognition receptors in pathogenesis of pediatric invasive and recurrent pneumococcal infection

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Here we review currently available data showing that innate immune signs predisposing to recurrent and invasive pneumococcal infections were identified in children. Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) belongs to Grampositive bacteria being the major cause of morbidity and mortality in infants, especially in developing countries and in communities with low socioeconomic status. Due to the lack of anti-pneumococcal vaccination, the significant proportion of pneumococcus carriers develop non-invasive (pneumonia, otitis media, sinusitis) and severe invasive (bacteremia/septicemia, meningitis) pneumococcal infection. A great deal of diverse factors related to pneumococcus biological features (virulence factors) as well individualized host-specific immunity are implicated in efficient bacterial penetration across the mucous membranes. The TLR signaling system plays a crucial role in the human nonspecific defense upon the first encounter with the pathogen. Various TLRs comprise the first pattern recognition receptor fami ly ever described which sense ligands derived from the outer bacterial wall. The complement system is the ancient innate immunity component mainly involved in intravascular elimination of bacterial agents. In addition, the complement proteins serve as a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity, ensuring optimal conditions for B- and T-cell maturation and differentiation. Because pneumococcus secretes the IgA protease, a local protective effects related to IgA antibodies might not be so prominent. Therefore, B-cell immunodeficiency and impaired complement system hold a lead place among congenital causes resulting in severe and recurrent pneumococcal infections in children. Thus, based on available data, we concluded that impaired B-cell function, the complement components deficiency as well as receptor-recognition receptors (TLR-2, -9, -4, MYD88 adapter protein, TLR cascade enzymes: IRAK4, NEMO, NOD-like receptors: NOD2, NLRP3; C-type lectins: MBL, Dextin-2, and, possibly, ficoline) play the most important role among congenital immunodeficiencies predisposing to invasive and recurrent pneumococcal infections play the most important role among congenital immunodeficiencies predisposing to invasive and recurrent pneumococcal infections, and should be used as a rationale for immunological surveillance and organizing immunogenetics screening in these patients. 


About the authors

S. Yu. Tereshchenko

Scientific Research Institute of Medical Problems of the North, Federal Research Center «Krasnoyarsk Science Center» of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1605-7859

Tereshchenko S.Yu., PhD, MD (Medicine), Head of Clinical Department of Childhood Somatic and Mental Health

Contacts: Sergey Yu. Tereshchenko 660022, Russian Federation, Krasnoyarsk, Partizana Zheleznyaka str., 3g, Scientific Research Institute of Medical Problems of the North. Phone/Fax: +7 (391) 228-06-83.

Russian Federation

M. V. Smolnikova

Scientific Research Institute of Medical Problems of the North, Federal Research Center «Krasnoyarsk Science Center» of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9984-2029
Smolnikova M.V., PhD (Biology), Leading Researcher, Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Pathology and Physiology Russian Federation


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