Nasal Delivery of Haemophilus haemolyticus Is Safe, Reduces Influenza Severity, and Prevents Development of Otitis Media in Mice

Naomi Scott, Kelly M Martinovich, Caitlyn M Granland, Elke J Seppanen, M Christian Tjiam, Camilla de Gier, Edison Foo, Kirsty R Short, Keng Yih Chew, Alma Fulurija, Deborah H Strickland, Peter C Richmond, Lea-Ann S Kirkham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite vaccination, influenza and otitis media (OM) remain leading causes of illness. We previously found that the human respiratory commensal Haemophilus haemolyticus prevents bacterial infection in vitro and that the related murine commensal Muribacter muris delays OM development in mice. The observation that M muris pretreatment reduced lung influenza titer and inflammation suggests that these bacteria could be exploited for protection against influenza/OM.

METHODS: Safety and efficacy of intranasal H haemolyticus at 5 × 107 colony-forming units (CFU) was tested in female BALB/cARC mice using an influenza model and influenza-driven nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) OM model. Weight, symptoms, viral/bacterial levels, and immune responses were measured.

RESULTS: Intranasal delivery of H haemolyticus was safe and reduced severity of influenza, with quicker recovery, reduced inflammation, and lower lung influenza virus titers (up to 8-fold decrease vs placebo; P ≤ .01). Haemophilus haemolyticus reduced NTHi colonization density (day 5 median NTHi CFU/mL = 1.79 × 103 in treatment group vs 4.04 × 104 in placebo, P = .041; day 7 median NTHi CFU/mL = 28.18 vs 1.03 × 104; P = .028) and prevented OM (17% OM in treatment group, 83% in placebo group; P = .015).

CONCLUSIONS: Haemophilus haemolyticus has potential as a live biotherapeutic for prevention or early treatment of influenza and influenza-driven NTHi OM. Additional studies will deem whether these findings translate to humans and other respiratory infections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of infectious diseases
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2024

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