Platelets promote bacterial dissemination in a mouse model of streptococcal sepsis.

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Platelets have been reported to contribute to inflammation and inflammatory disorders. In the present study, we demonstrate that platelets contribute to the acute response to bacterial infection in a mouse model of invasive Streptococcus pyogenes infection. Thrombocytopenia occurred rapidly in infected animals and this was associated with platelet activation, formation of platelet-neutrophil complexes and neutrophil activation. In order to assess the role of platelets during infection, platelets were depleted prior to infection. Platelet-depleted animals had significantly decreased platelet-neutrophil complex formation and neutrophil activation in response to infection. Importantly, significantly fewer bacteria disseminated to the blood, lungs, and spleen of platelet-depleted animals. Platelet-depleted animals did not decrease as significantly in weight as the infected control animals. The results demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for platelets during the pathophysiological response to infection, whereby S. pyogenes bacteria bind to platelets and platelets facilitate bacterial dissemination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-676
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infectious Medicine


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