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Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) is a cytosolic pathogen recognition receptor that regulates susceptibility to a variety of infections and chronic diseases. Burkholderia pseudomallei, a facultative intracellular bacterium, causes the tropical infection melioidosis. We hypothesized that NOD2 may participate in host defense in melioidosis. We performed a series of in vitro assays and in vivo experiments and analyzed the association of human genetic variation with infection to delineate the contribution of NOD2 to the host response to B. pseudomallei. We found that transfection with NOD2 mediated NF-κB activation induced by B. pseudomallei stimulation of HEK293 cells. After low-dose inoculation with aerosolized B. pseudomallei, Nod2-deficient mice showed impaired clinical responses and permitted greater bacterial replication in the lung and dissemination to the spleen compared with wild-type mice. IL-6 and KC levels were higher in the lungs of Nod2-deficient mice. In a cohort of 1562 Thai subjects, a common genetic polymorphism in the NOD2 region, rs7194886, was associated with melioidosis, and this effect was most pronounced in women. rs7194886 was not associated with differences in cytokine production induced by whole-blood stimulation with the NOD2 ligand, muramyl dipeptide, or B. pseudomallei. To our knowledge, these findings are the first to characterize the role of NOD2 in host defense in mammalian melioidosis.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Publication Date





300 - 307


Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195;


Lung, Cell Line, Tumor, Animals, Mice, Knockout, Humans, Mice, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Melioidosis, Disease Models, Animal, Interleukin-6, Cytokines, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein, Immunity, Innate, HEK293 Cells