OBJECTIVES: Bacteria from the intestinal tract of Slovak and American HIV/AIDS patients and Slovak colon cancer patients were tested for the capacity to be internalized by cells of the HL-60 cell line as well as by normal human lymphocytes. They were anticipated to possess a specific characteristic, i.e. a vigorous ability to be internalized by HL-60 cells and human lymphocytes. This assumption was confirmed by gentamicin protection assay.
RESULTS: Internalization of bacteria from HIV/AIDS patients frequently resulted in partial (patients SKM1, SKM22) or complete lysis (patients SKK1-1, SKM12) of HL-60 cells. In comparison with intramucosal bacteria isolated from patients with colorectal cancer (TSG, 883, 660, 838, 536, MZRa), their capacity to internalize HL-60 cells was found to be 15-20 times higher (USP15/7, USP1/4, USP3/3, SK725/5). Partial lysis (patients USP15/7, USP3/3 and SKM22) and complete lysis (patients USP1/4, SKK1-1/1, SKM1/6, SKM12/5) were detected also after internalization of bacteria by normal human lymphocytes. Compared to the amount of intracellular bacteria isolated from patients with HIV/AIDS, the ability of bacteria from patients with colorectal cancer to internalize normal human lymphocytes was significantly lower (10-15 times), yet still higher than that of bacteria isolated from healthy people.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results present the ability of bacteria of colon cancer patients and HIV/AIDS patients to internalize HL-60 cells and normal human lymphocytes. The findings underline the potentially important function of bacteria in the induction of colorectal cancer and immunodeficiency. The particularly high detection ability of bacteria from HIV/AIDS patients to internalize normal human cells emphasizes their potentially important role in the process of AIDS.