Postpartum women are at increased risk of developing puerperal sepsis caused by group A Streptococcus (GAS). Specific GAS serotypes, including M1 and M28, are more commonly associated with puerperal sepsis. However, the mechanisms of GAS genital tract infection are not well understood. We utilized a murine genital tract carriage model to demonstrate that M1 and M28 GAS colonization triggers TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-17A production in the female genital tract. GAS-induced IL-17A significantly influences streptococcal carriage and alters local inflammatory responses in two genetically distinct inbred strains of mice. An absence of IL-17A or the IL-1 receptor was associated with reduced neutrophil recruitment to the site of infection; and clearance of GAS was significantly attenuated in IL-17A -/- mice and Rag1 -/- mice (that lack mature lymphocytes) but not in mice deficient for the IL-1 receptor. Together, these findings support a role for IL-17A in contributing to the control of streptococcal mucosal colonization and provide new insight into the inflammatory mediators regulating host-pathogen interactions in the female genital tract.
|State||Published - May 31 2016|