Bordetella spp. block eosinophil recruitment to suppress the generation of early mucosal protection

Cell Rep. 2023 Nov 28;42(11):113294. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.113294. Epub 2023 Oct 25.


Bordetella spp. are respiratory pathogens equipped with immune evasion mechanisms. We previously characterized a Bordetella bronchiseptica mutant (RB50ΔbtrS) that fails to suppress host responses, leading to rapid clearance and long-lasting immunity against reinfection. This work revealed eosinophils as an exclusive requirement for RB50ΔbtrS clearance. We also show that RB50ΔbtrS promotes eosinophil-mediated B/T cell recruitment and inducible bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT) formation, with eosinophils being present throughout iBALT for Th17 and immunoglobulin A (IgA) responses. Finally, we provide evidence that XCL1 is critical for iBALT formation but not maintenance, proposing a novel role for eosinophils as facilitators of adaptive immunity against B. bronchiseptica. RB50ΔbtrS being incapable of suppressing eosinophil effector functions illuminates active, bacterial targeting of eosinophils to achieve successful persistence and reinfection. Overall, our discoveries contribute to understanding cellular mechanisms for use in future vaccines and therapies against Bordetella spp. and extension to other mucosal pathogens.

Keywords: Bordetella spp.; CP: Immunology; CP: Microbiology; Th17 responses; XCL1; bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue; eosinophils; mucosal immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bordetella Infections* / microbiology
  • Bordetella Infections* / prevention & control
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica*
  • Bordetella*
  • Eosinophils
  • Humans
  • Reinfection