Publications & Reports

Il4ra-independent vaginal eosinophil accumulation following helminth infection exacerbates epithelial ulcerative pathology of HSV-2 infection.

Chetty A, Darby MG, Vornewald PM, Martín-Alonso M, Filz A, Ritter M, McSorley HJ, Masson L, Smith K, Brombacher F, O'Shea MK, Cunningham AF, Ryffel B, Oudhoff MJ, Dewals BG, Layland LE, Horsnell WGC


How helminths influence the pathogenesis of sexually transmitted viral infections is not comprehensively understood. Here, we show that an acute helminth infection (Nippostrongylus brasiliensis [Nb]) induced a type 2 immune profile in the female genital tract (FGT). This leads to heightened epithelial ulceration and pathology in subsequent herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2 infection. This was IL-5-dependent but IL-4 receptor alpha (Il4ra) independent, associated with increased FGT eosinophils, raised vaginal IL-33, and enhanced epithelial necrosis. Vaginal eosinophil accumulation was promoted by IL-33 induction following targeted vaginal epithelium damage from a papain challenge. Inhibition of IL-33 protected against Nb-exacerbated HSV-2 pathology. Eosinophil depletion reduced IL-33 release and HSV-2 ulceration in Nb-infected mice. These findings demonstrate that Nb-initiated FGT eosinophil recruitment promotes an eosinophil, IL-33, and IL-5 inflammatory circuit that enhances vaginal epithelial necrosis and pathology following HSV-2 infection. These findings identify a mechanistic framework as to how helminth infections can exacerbate viral-induced vaginal pathology.

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  • Journal: Cell Host & Microbe
  • Published: 14/04/2021
  • Volume: 29
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: 579-593