Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Intestinal Infection Is Associated With Impaired Lung Innate Immunity to Secondary Respiratory Infection.



Pneumonia and diarrhea are among the leading causes of death worldwide, and epidemiological studies have demonstrated that diarrhea is associated with an increased risk of subsequent pneumonia. Our aim was to determine the impact of intestinal infection on innate immune responses in the lung.


Using a mouse model of intestinal infection by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium [ST]), we investigated associations between gastrointestinal infections and lung innate immune responses to bacterial (Klebsiella pneumoniae) challenge.


We found alterations in frequencies of innate immune cells in the lungs of intestinally infected mice compared with uninfected mice. On subsequent challenge with K. pneumoniae, we found that mice with prior intestinal infection have higher lung bacterial burden and inflammation, increased neutrophil margination, and neutrophil extracellular traps, but lower overall numbers of neutrophils, compared with mice without prior intestinal infection. Total numbers of dendritic cells, innate-like T cells, and natural killer cells were not different between mice with and without prior intestinal infection.


Together, these results suggest that intestinal infection impacts lung innate immune responses, most notably neutrophil characteristics, potentially resulting in increased susceptibility to secondary pneumonia.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View