Superoxide anion production during Anaplasma phagocytophila infection

Tian Wang, Stephen E. Malawista, Utpal Pal, Mark Grey, James Meek, Mustafa Akkoyunlu, Venetta Thomas, Erol Fikrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Anaplasma phagocytophila persists within neutrophils and prevents the respiratory burst by inhibiting gp91phox. Mutations in gp91phox result in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), which is diagnosed by use of the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) and Fc-Oxyburst assays that examine whether cells produce O2-. This study assessed whether the NBT and Fc-Oxyburst assays could detect a respiratory burst during A. phagocytophila infection. O2- production was inhibited in HL-60 cells and neutrophils infected with A. phagocytophila. In a mouse model of A. phagocytophila infection, 15% ± 4% (mean ± SD) of polymorphonuclear leukocytes from infected mice had an ineffective respiratory burst compared with 1% ± 1% (mean ± SD) of the neutrophils from uninfected animals. A population of neutrophils that did not produce O2- was also detected in 2 patients with A. phagocytophila infection. These data demonstrate respiratory burst inhibition by A. phagocytophila in vivo and on an individual cell basis by use of assays designed to evaluate CGD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-280
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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