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  • 1 Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Szeged Dóm tér 10, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
  • 2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunobiology, University of Szeged P. O. Box 427, H-6701, Szeged, Hungary
  • 3 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunobiology, University of Szeged P. O. Box 427, H-6701, Szeged, Hungary
  • 4 Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Szeged Dóm tér 10, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
  • 5 Institute of Medical Microbiology, The National Hospital University of Oslo Sognsvannsv. 20, NO-0027 Oslo, Norway
  • 6 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunobiology, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged Dóm tér 10, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
  • 7 Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Szeged Dóm tér 10, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
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Cytokine production has been implicated in the pathogenic mechanisms of infections caused by the staphylococci, since these bacteria may act as strong cytokine inducers. To gain deeper insight into the Th1 immune response activated by these bacteria, we have analyzed the interferon (IFN), interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-18-inducing activities of different Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), S. epidermidis and S. saprophyticus strains in human monocytes and murine bone marrow macrophages. A large majority of the S. aureus strains elicited the simultaneous production of IL-12 p70 and IFN-a in the human monocytes, while the S. epidermidis and S. saprophyticus strains induced only a low level of production, if any, of these cytokines. Furthermore, a majority of the S. aureus strains induced significantly higher IL-12 p70 and IL-18 titers in the murine bone marrow macrophages than did the S. epidermidis and S. saprophyticus strains. As IL-12, IL-18 and IFN-a stimulate Th1 differentiation synergistically, we suggest that S. aureus strains bias the immune response toward a Th1 phenotype, whereas S. epidermidis and S. saprophyticus strains provide a weaker stimulus for the production of Th1-inducing cytokines, and accordingly possibly elicit a less extensive Th1-associated adaptive immunity.

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