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CD1d-restricted natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like lymphocytes that express a conserved T-cell receptor and contribute to host defence against various microbial pathogens. However, their target lipid antigens have remained elusive. Here we report evidence for microbial, antigen-specific activation of NKT cells against Gram-negative,(More)
Human ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are acute febrile tick-borne diseases caused by various members of the genera Ehrlichia and Anaplasma (Anaplasmataceae). Human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis has become one of the most prevalent life-threatening tick-borne disease in the United States. Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are becoming more frequently diagnosed as(More)
OBJECTIVE Infection triggers inflammation that, in turn, enhances the expression of contractile-associated factors in myometrium and increases the risk of preterm delivery. In this study, we assessed vitamin D regulation of inflammatory markers, contractile-associated factors, steroid hormone receptors, and NFκB pathway proteins in human uterine myometrial(More)
We describe an ELISPOT technique for the detection of antigen specific IFNgamma-producing T cells. The technique is performed on spleen cells plated directly ex vivo into ELISPOT trays without an in vitro pre-culture step. Thus, the assay is likely to reflect the in vivo activity of the cells. We have found that very high cell densities (at least 10(6)(More)
The occurrence of infectious disease represents a failure of the immune system, a failure that must be prevented by effective vaccination or remedied by treatment. Vaccination against acute diseases such as smallpox and polio are very effective, due to the rapid and increased immune response of vaccinated individuals upon natural infection. In contrast,(More)
The interaction between intracellular pathogens and the mammalian host follows different pathways that reflect evolved survival mechanisms of both the pathogen and the host to assure each one's own survival. From the host's perspective, different immune mechanisms predominate at different stages of infection. Both phagocytic and non-phagocytic target cells(More)
Human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis (HME) is an emerging, life-threatening, infectious disease caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis, an obligate intracellular bacterium that lacks cell wall LPS. We have previously developed an animal model of severe HME using a strain of Ehrlichia isolated from Ixodes ovatus ticks (IOE). To understand the basis of susceptibility(More)
We tested the independence hypothesis, namely that the Th1/Th2 nature of concurrent immune responses, generated in the same secondary lymphoid organ to non-cross-reacting Ags, can be independently determined. Some infectious agents and some adjuvants contain modulatory molecules that affect the Th1/Th2 nature of immune responses in a non-Ag-specific manner.(More)
Rickettsiae cause some of the most severe human infections, including epidemic typhus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Substantial progress has been made in research into the genomics, vector relationships, pathogenesis and immunity of these obligate, intracellular, arthropod-transmitted bacteria. This Review summarizes our understanding of the early and(More)
Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), associated with Th1 responses, are the most important mediators of resistance against most tumors. We argue that most murine tumors grow progressively when a significant Th2 component to their immune response develops, which is associated with the downregulation of the CTL response. We outline recent evidence that strongly(More)