Skip to main content

Table 1 Main characteristics of the immune responses to C. burnetii infection occurring in the acute and chronic phases

From: Proteomics paves the way for Q fever diagnostics

Immune response Acute phase Chronic phase Detection or exploration methods
Cells T lymphocytes Fewer T lymphocytes (CD4/CD8) Flow cytometry
Total eradication of bacteria No No qRT-PCR, qPCR
Granuloma formation Yes No, large vacuole Immunohistochemistry
Detection of bacteria in granuloma/large vacuole No, very weak Yes Immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR, qPCR
Antibody production IgG against phase I, IgM against phase II IgG, IgM, IgA against both phase I and II Serology (IFA)
Properties of monocytes from convalescent patients Able to kill C. burnetii and migrate through the endothelium Unable to kill C. burnetii or migrate through the endothelium qRT-PCR, qPCR targeting C. burnetii, apoptosis detection (TUNEL assay)
Cytokines IFN-γ and TNFα, mediated through TLR4 activation IL-10 qRT-PCR targeting the specific cytokines
Immune response Efficient Deleterious -
  1. IFA, immunofluorescence assay; IFN-γ, Interferon-gamma; IgG, Immunoglobulin G; IgM, Immunoglobulin M; IgA, Immunoglobulin A; IL-10, Interleukin 10; qRT-PCR, quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction; qPCR, quantitative polymerase chain reaction; TLR4, Toll-like receptor 4; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor α; TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling.