Effects of rhinovirus infection on the adherence of Streptococcus pneumoniae to cultured human airway epithelial cells

J Infect Dis. 2003 Dec 15;188(12):1928-39. doi: 10.1086/379833. Epub 2003 Dec 3.


To examine the effects of rhinovirus (RV) infection on the adherence of Streptococcus pneumoniae to human tracheal epithelial cells, cells were infected with RV-14, and S. pneumoniae were added to the culture medium. The number of S. pneumoniae adhering to epithelial cells increased after RV infection. Y-24180, a specific inhibitor of the platelet-activating factor receptor (PAF-R); PAF; and the pyrrolidine derivative of dithiocarbamate, an inhibitor of transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), decreased the number of S. pneumoniae adhering to cells after RV-14 infection. RV-14 infection increased PAF-R expression and the activation of NF-kappaB and promoter-specific transcription factor 1. These findings suggest that RV-14 infection stimulates S. pneumoniae adhesion to airway epithelial cells via increases in PAF-Rs that are partly mediated through activation of transcription factors. Increased adherence of S. pneumoniae may be one of the reasons that pneumonia develops after RV infection.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / physiology
  • Picornaviridae Infections*
  • Platelet Activating Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Platelet Activating Factor / physiology
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Pneumococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Respiratory Mucosa / metabolism
  • Respiratory Mucosa / microbiology
  • Rhinovirus / pathogenicity*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / pathogenicity
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Virulence


  • NF-kappa B
  • Platelet Activating Factor
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Transcription Factors
  • platelet activating factor receptor