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Characterization of porcine dendritic cell response to Streptococcus suis

DOI: 10.1186/1297-9716-42-72

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Streptococcus suis is a major swine pathogen associated mainly with meningitis, although other pathologies have also been described such as septicemia with sudden death, endocarditis, arthritis, and pneumonia [1]. Among 35 serotypes described, serotype 2 is considered the most virulent and the most frequently isolated from both diseased pigs and humans. Consequently, most studies on virulence factors and the pathogenesis of infection have been carried out with this serotype [2]. Until recently, S. suis disease in humans has been considered as rare and only affecting people working with pigs or pork by-products. However, with a rising incidence in humans over the last years, S. suis is now considered as an important emerging zoonotic agent, especially in Asian countries, where S. suis has recently been identified as the leading cause of adult meningitis in Vietnam, the second in Thailand, and the third in Hong Kong. In 2005, an important outbreak occurred in China and resulted in 200 human cases with a fatality rate near 20% [1]. In humans, S. suis is mainly responsible for meningitis, septicemia and streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome [1,3,4].Despite the increasing number of studies, the pathogenesis of the S. suis infection is still not completely understood and, to date, attempts to control the infection are hampered by the lack of an effective vaccine. The mechanisms involved in the host innate and adaptive immune responses toward S. suis as well as those used by S. suis to subvert these responses are unknown. Several virulence factors have been proposed to be involved in the pathogenesis of S. suis infection [5]. Among them, the capsular polysaccharide, which confers to the bacteria antiphagocytic properties, has been demonstrated as a critical virulence factor [2,6,7] and its structure was recently described [8]. In fact, non-encapsulated mutants were shown to be avirulent in mice and pig models of infection [2]. Among several proteins and enzymes, a hemoly


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