Cell Rep. 2021 Sep 21;36(12):109750. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109750.
The inappropriate use of antibiotics is a severe public health problem worldwide, contributing to the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria. To explore the possible impacts of the inappropriate use of antibiotics on the immune system, we use Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) infection as an example and show that imipenem increases the mortality of mice infected by MDR K. pneumoniae. Further studies demonstrate that imipenem enhances the secretion of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) with significantly elevated presentation of GroEL, which promotes the phagocytosis of OMVs by macrophages that depends on the interaction between GroEL and its receptor, lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1). OMVs cause the pyroptosis of macrophages and the release of proinflammatory cytokines, which contribute to exacerbated inflammatory responses. We propose that the inappropriate use of antibiotics in the cases of infection by MDR bacteria such as K. pneumoniae might cause damaging inflammatory responses, which underlines the pernicious effects of inappropriate use of antibiotics.