The inflammatory response to the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii plays a central role in the respiratory failure associated with Pneumocystis pneumonia. To help ameliorate the inflammatory response, corticosteroids are used as an adjuvant to standard antimicrobial therapy. Corticosteroids, however, can have a wide range of effects (including deleterious effects) on the host immune response. To date, pathogen-specific antibody therapy has primarily been developed for both its direct antimicrobial activity (e.g., toxin and viral neutralization) and its ability to enhance the antimicrobial activity of the host immune response via effector cells, like macrophages and neutrophils. In this issue of Infection and Immunity, Hoy et al. (Z. Hoy, T. W. Wright, M. Elliott, J. Malone, et al., Infect Immun 88:e00640-19, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00640-19) report on a surprising application of Pneumocystis-specific antibody therapy in treating disease by decreasing the inflammatory response. This effect appears to occur as a result of an enhanced phagocytic activity within the lung and an associated alteration in the macrophage phenotype. This study adds insight into our understanding of antibody activity and highlights the possibility of using antibody therapy to limit inflammation for other infectious diseases in which inflammatory damage plays a significant role in disease pathogenesis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Infection and immunity|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2020|
- Monoclonal antibodies
- Pneumocystis carinii
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases