Host-Pathogen Interactions and Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction

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Abstract

Lung transplantation is now considered to be a therapeutic option for patients with advanced-stage lung diseases. Unfortunately, due to post-transplant complications, both infectious and noninfectious, it is only a treatment and not a cure. Infections (e.g., bacterial, viral, and fungal) in the immunosuppressed lung transplant recipient are a common cause of mortality post transplant. Infections have more recently been explored as factors contributing to the risk of chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). Each major class of infection—(1) bacterial (Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa); (2) viral (cytomegalovirus and community-acquired respiratory viruses); and (3) fungal (Aspergillus)—has been associated with the development of CLAD. Mechanistically, the microbe seems to be interacting with the allograft cells, stimulating the induction of chemokines, which recruit recipient leukocytes to the graft. The recipient leukocyte interactions with the microbe further up-regulate chemokines, amplifying the influx of allograft-infiltrating mononuclear cells. These events can promote recipient leukocytes to interact with the allograft, triggering an alloresponse and graft dysfunction. Overall, interactions between the microbe-allograft-host immune system alters chemokine production, which, in part, plays a role in the pathobiology of CLAD and mortality due to CLAD.

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