Exserohilum rostratum caused a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak following iatrogenic inoculation of contaminated methylprednisolone in the United States. To gain insight into the immunopathogenesis of this infection, we studied the innate host responses of human neutrophils against E. rostratum conidia and hyphae with or without methylprednisolone. The neutrophil-induced percentage fungal damage against conidia and hyphae was effector-to-target ratio dependent (≤55%). While methylprednisolone did not affect neutrophil-induced fungal damage by treatment of Exserohilum or neutrophils, it compromised phagocytosis of conidia (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that methylprednisolone-treated neutrophils may have altered phagocytic clearance of Exserohilum conidia, reducing host capacity to contain the invasive process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases
- Exserohilum rostratum
- dematiaceous moulds
- fungal meningitis
- human polymorphonuclear leukocytes
- innate immune response