The phagosome–lysosome fusion is the target of a purified quillaja saponin extract (Pqse) in reducing infection of fish macrophages by the bacterial pathogen piscirickettsia salmonis

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Abstract

Piscirickettsia salmonis, the etiological agent of Piscirickettsiosis, is a Gram-negative and facultative intracellular pathogen that has affected the Chilean salmon industry since 1989. The bacterium is highly aggressive and can survive and replicate within fish macrophages using the Dot/Icm secretion system to evade the host’s immune response and spread systemically. To date, no efficient control measures have been developed for this disease; therefore, the producers use large amounts of antibiotics to control this pathogen. In this frame, this work has focused on evaluating the use of saponins from Quillaja saponaria as a new alternative to control the Piscirickettsiosis. It has been previously reported that purified extract of Q. saponaria (PQSE) displays both antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria and viruses and adjuvant properties. Our results show that PQSE does not present antimicrobial activity against P. salmonis, although it reduces P. salmonis infection in an in vitro model, promoting the phagosome–lysosome fusion. Additionally, we demonstrate that PQSE modulates the expression of IL-12 and IL-10 in infected cells, promoting the immune response against the pathogen and reducing the expression of pathogen virulence genes. These results together strongly argue for specific anti-invasion and anti-intracellular replication effects induced by the PQSE in macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number847
JournalAntibiotics
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bacterial
  • Fish macrophage
  • Phagosome– lysosome fusion
  • Piscirickettsia salmonis
  • Quillaja saponaria
  • Saponin

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