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Antibiotics with Interleukin-15 inhibition reduces joint inflammation and bone erosions but not cartilage destruction in Staphylococcus aureus-induced arthritis.

Journal article
Authors Berglind Bergmann
Pernilla Jirholt
Petra Henning
Catharina Lindholm
Claes Ohlsson
Iain B McInnes
Ulf H Lerner
Inger Gjertsson
Published in Infection and immunity
Volume 86
Issue 5
Pages e00960-17
ISSN 1098-5522
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Pages e00960-17
Language en
Subject categories Rheumatology and Autoimmunity, Infectious Medicine


Background:Staphylococcus aureus-induced arthritis causes rapid joint destruction, often leading to disabling joint damage despite antibiotics. We have previously shown that IL-15 inhibition without antibiotics is beneficial in S. aureus-induced arthritis. We therefore hypothesized that inhibition of IL-15, in combination with antibiotics, might represent a useful therapy that would both reduce inflammation and joint destruction, but preserve the host's ability to clear the infection.Methods: Female wildtype C57BL/6 mice were intravenously inoculated with the TSST-1-producing LS-1 strain of S. aureus with 0.8x108S. aureus LS-1/mouse. Three days later the treatment was started consisting of cloxacillin followed by flucloxacillin, together with either anti-IL-15 antibodies (aIL-15ab) or control antibodies. Outcomes included survival, weight change, bacterial clearance, and joint damage.Results: The addition of aIL-15ab to antibiotics in S. aureus-induced arthritis reduced synovitis and bone erosions compared to controls. The number of bone-resorbing osteoclasts in the joints was reduced, whereas cartilage destruction was not significantly altered. Importantly, the combination therapy did not adversely affect the clinical outcome of S. aureus-induced arthritis, such as survival, weight change or compromise the host's ability to clear the infection.Conclusions: As the clinical outcome of S. aureus-induced arthritis was not affected, the addition of aIL-15ab to antibiotics ought to be safe. Taken together, the combination of aIL-15ab and antibiotics is a beneficial, but not optimal, treatment of S. aureus-induced arthritis as it reduces synovitis and bone erosions but has a limited effect on cartilage destruction.

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