Mycobacterial growth and sensitivity to H2O2 killing in human monocytes in vitro

Pairote Laochumroonvorapong, Simon Paul, Claudia Manca, Victoria H. Freedman, Gilla Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The intracellular growth and susceptibilities to killing by H2O2 in cultured human monocytes of a number of mycobacterial species including laboratory strains and clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and a clinical isolate of Mycobacterium avium-M. intracellulare were examined. The clinical isolate of M. avium-M. intracellulare did not replicate in freshly explanted monocytes (generation time of >400 h); BCG replicated with a generation time of 95 h, and M. tuberculosis strains CDC551, H37Rv, and H37Ra replicated with generation times of 24, 35, and 37 h, respectively, during the 4-day growth assay. When cultured in monocytes for 4 days, the mycobacteria were variably sensitive to H2O2-induced killing. A positive correlation between the generation time and percent killing of intracellular bacilli was observed. By comparison, mycobacterial strains were similarly sensitive to H2O2 treatment in cell-free culture media and in sonicated cell suspensions. Using a number of inhibitors of reactive oxygen intermediates we determined that other than catalase the inhibitors tested did not affect H2O2-induced killing of intracellular mycobacteria. Our studies suggest that the killing of mycobacteria growing in human monocytes in vitro by the addition of exogenous H2O2 is dependent on the susceptibility to a peroxide-induced killing pathway as well as on the intracellular growth rate of the mycobacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4850-4857
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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