Phagocyte-bacteria interactions.

Y. Keisari*, K. Kabha, L. Nissimov, J. Schlepper-Schafer, I. Ofek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Recognition and phagocytosis of micro-organisms in a serum-poor environment represent innate immunity against many extracellular pathogens. As a paradigm for such processes, we discuss the recognition of Klebsiella pneumoniae by alveolar macrophages and monocyte-derived macrophages in the absence of serum. Macrophages recognize and subsequently kill Klebsiella expressing Man-alpha 2/3-Man or Rha-alpha 2/3-Rha sequences in their capsular polysaccharides by two mechanisms: (a) recognition of the capsular structures by macrophage mannose receptors, and (b) opsonization by the lung surfactant protein A (SP-A), which binds to the capsular polysaccharides of Klebsiella and to SP-A receptors on the macrophages. Sp-A may also enhance phagocytosis by increasing the activity of macrophage mannose receptors. We conclude that a specific microbial surface structure may be a target for recognition by macrophages via several mechanisms, as exemplified in the case of Klebsiella capsular polysaccharides. Multiple recognition mechanisms of pathogens by macrophages may be essential to provide innate immunity to reduce the frequency of infections caused by a relatively less virulent bacterium in the immuno-compromised host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in dental research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1997


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