Cell reports. 2020-08-25; 32.8: 108062.

Influenza-Induced Oxidative Stress Sensitizes Lung Cells to Bacterial-Toxin-Mediated Necroptosis

Gonzalez-Juarbe N, Riegler AN, Jureka AS, Gilley RP, Brand JD, Trombley JE, Scott NR, Platt MP, Dube PH, Petit CM, Harrod KS, Orihuela CJ

PMID: 32846120


Pneumonias caused by influenza A virus (IAV) co- and secondary bacterial infections are characterized by their severity and high mortality rate. Previously, we have shown that bacterial pore-forming toxin (PFT)-mediated necroptosis is a key driver of acute lung injury during bacterial pneumonia. Here, we evaluate the impact of IAV on PFT-induced acute lung injury during co- and secondary Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) infection. We observe that IAV synergistically sensitizes lung epithelial cells for PFT-mediated necroptosis in vitro and in murine models of Spn co-infection and secondary infection. Pharmacoelogical induction of oxidative stress without virus sensitizes cells for PFT-mediated necroptosis. Antioxidant treatment or inhibition of necroptosis reduces disease severity during secondary bacterial infection. Our results advance our understanding on the molecular basis of co- and secondary bacterial infection to influenza and identify necroptosis inhibition and antioxidant therapy as potential intervention strategies.