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Infect Immun. 2002 Nov;70(11):6504-8.

Decreased virulence of a pneumolysin-deficient strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae in murine meningitis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.


Pneumolysin, neuraminidases A and B, and hyaluronidase are virulence factors of Streptococcus pneumoniae that appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of meningitis. In a murine model of meningitis after intracerebral infection using mutants of S. pneumoniae D39, only mice infected with a pneumolysin-deficient strain were healthier at 32 and 36 h, had lower bacterial titers in blood at 36 h, and survived longer than the D39 parent strain. Cerebellar and spleen bacterial titers, meningeal inflammation, and neuronal damage scores remained uninfluenced by the lack of any of the virulence factors.

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