Endothelial dysfunction is a major component of the pathophysiology of septicaemic group B Streptococcus
(GBS) infections. Although cytokines have been shown to activate human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), the capacity of interferon (IFN)-γ to enhance the microbicidal activity of HUVECs against GBS has not been studied. We report that the viability of intracellular bacteria was reduced in HUVECs activated by IFN-γ. Enhanced fusion of lysosomes with bacteria-containing vacuoles was observed by acid phosphatase and the colocalisation of Rab-5, Rab-7 and lysosomal-associated membrane protein-1 with GBS in IFN-γ-activated HUVECs. IFN-γ resulted in an enhancement of the phagosome maturation process in HUVECs, improving the capacity to control the intracellular survival of GBS.