Killing of Coccidioides immitis by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells

N. M. Ampel, G. C. Bejarano, J. N. Galgiani

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16 Scopus citations


The ability of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNL) obtained from healthy donors to kill the fungus Coccidioides immitis was examined in vitro with an assay that uses a single fungal particle per well. MNL killed 25.0% ± 3.5% of a coccidioidal arthroconidial target, compared with the 4.7% ± 2.9% killed by polymorphonuclear leukocytes obtained from the same donors (P = 0.012). Arthroconidial killing by MNL was not dependent on donor delayed dermal hypersensitivity to spherulin. Killing of another fungal target, Candida glabrata, was not significantly different between MNL and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (P = 0.783). Depletion of monocytes from MNL with Sephadex G-10 resulted in a significant reduction in arthroconidial killing (21.4% ± 13.6% versus 2.4% ± 3.4%; P = 0.025), while enrichment of monocytes by Percoll density gradient centrifugation or plastic adherence resulted in significantly increased arthroconidial killing compared with that by MNL (P = 0.005 and 0.001, respectively). Killing of 96-h spherules by MNL was 7.3% ± 3.1%, significantly less than the 21.4% ± 2.8% killing of arthroconidia in the same experiments (P = 0.016). Incubation of MNL with human recombinant gamma interferon or tumor necrosis factor alpha did not result in increased MNL killing of coccidioidal arthroconidia under various conditions. These results suggest that MNL have an inherent ability to kill coccidioidal arthroconidia in vitro which is not dependent on prior host exposure to C. immitis. This activity appears to reside in peripheral blood monocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4200-4204
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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