TitleStreptococcus pneumoniae serotype 22F infection in respiratory syncytial virus infected neonatal lambs enhances morbidity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsAlnajjar, S, Sitthicharoenchai, P, Gallup, J, Ackermann, MR, Verhoeven, D
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2021

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the primary cause of viral bronchiolitis resulting in hospitalization and a frequent cause of secondary respiratory bacterial infection, especially by Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) in infants. While murine studies have demonstrated enhanced morbidity during a viral/bacterial co-infection, human meta-studies have conflicting results. Moreover, little knowledge about the pathogenesis of emerging Spn serotype 22F, especially the co-pathologies between RSV and Spn, is known. Here, colostrum-deprived neonate lambs were divided into four groups. Two of the groups were nebulized with RSV M37, and the other two groups were mock nebulized. At day three post-RSV infection, one RSV group (RSV/Spn) and one mock-nebulized group (Spn only) were inoculated with Spn intratracheally. At day six post-RSV infection, bacterial/viral loads were assessed along with histopathology and correlated with clinical symptoms. Lambs dually infected with RSV/Spn trended with higher RSV titers, but lower Spn. Additionally, lung lesions were observed to be more frequent in the RSV/Spn group characterized by increased interalveolar wall thickness accompanied by neutrophil and lymphocyte infiltration and higher myeloperoxidase. Despite lower Spn in lungs, co-infected lambs had more significant morbidity and histopathology, which correlated with a different cytokine response. Thus, enhanced disease severity during dual infection may be due to lesion development and altered immune responses rather than bacterial counts.

Alternate JournalPLoS One
PubMed ID33705390
PubMed Central IDPMC7951856