4 years ago

Stochastic variation in the initial phase of bacterial infection predicts the probability of survival in <i>D. melanogaster</i>

Gerardo A Ortiz, Hannah Kondolf, Brian P Lazzaro, David Duneau, Nicolas Buchon, Jonathan Revah, Jean-Baptiste Ferdy
A central problem in infection biology is understanding why two individuals exposed to identical infections have different outcomes. We have developed an experimental model where genetically identical, co-housed Drosophila given identical systemic infections experience different outcomes, with some individuals succumbing to acute infection while others control the pathogen as an asymptomatic persistent infection. We found that differences in bacterial burden at the time of death did not explain the two outcomes of infection. Inter-individual variation in survival stems from variation in within-host bacterial growth, which is determined by the immune response. We developed a model that captures bacterial growth dynamics and identifies key factors that predict the infection outcome: the rate of bacterial proliferation and the time required for the host to establish an effective immunological control. Our results provide a framework for studying the individual host-pathogen parameters governing the progression of infection and lead ultimately to life or death.

Publisher URL: https://elifesciences.org/articles/28298

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.28298

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