CD4 T cells and antibody are required for optimal acquired immunity to C. muridarum genital tract infection, and T cell-mediated IFN? production is necessary to clear infection in the absence of humoral immunity. However, the role of T cell-independent immune responses during primary infection remains unclear. We investigated this question by inoculating wild-type and immune-deficient mice with C. muridarum CM001, a clonal isolate capable of enhanced extragenital replication. Genital inoculation of wild-type mice resulted in transient dissemination to the lungs and spleen that then was rapidly cleared from these organs. However, CM001 genital infection proved lethal for STAT1-/- and IFNG-/- mice, where IFN? signaling is absent, and for Rag1-/- mice that lack T and B cells, but retain innate IFN? signaling. In contrast, B cell-deficient muMT mice that can generate a Th1 response, and T cell-deficient mice with intact B cell and innate IFN? signaling survived. These data collectively indicate that IFN? prevents lethal CM001 dissemination in the absence of T cells and suggests a B cell co-requirement. Adoptive transfer of convalescent immune sera, but not naïve IgM, to Rag1-/- mice infected with CM001 significantly increased survival time, while transfer of naïve B cells completely rescued Rag1-/- mice from CM001 lethality. Protection was associated with a significant reduction in the lung chlamydial burden of genitally infected mice. These data reveal an important cooperation between T-independent B cell responses and innate IFN? in chlamydial host defense, and suggest interactions between T-independent antibody and IFN? are essential for limiting extragenital dissemination. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
Journal: Infection and immunity