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BMC Microbiol. 2003 Jul 3;3:14.

The three extra-cellular zinc metalloproteinases of Streptococcus pneumoniae have a different impact on virulence in mice.

Author information

  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Molecolare, Laboratorio di Microbiologia Molecolare e Biotecnologia, Università di Siena, Siena, Italy. chiavolini@unisi.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Streptococcus pneumoniae possesses large zinc metalloproteinases on its surface. To analyse the importance in virulence of three of these metalloproteinases, intranasal challenge of MF1 outbred mice was carried out using a range of infecting doses of wild type and knock-out pneumococcal mutant strains, in order to compare mice survival.

RESULTS:

Observation of survival percentages over time and detection of LD50s of knock out mutants in the proteinase genes in comparison to the type 4 TIGR4 wild type strain revealed two major aspects: i) Iga and ZmpB, present in all strains of S. pneumoniae, strongly contribute to virulence in mice; (ii) ZmpC, only present in about 25% of pneumococcal strains, has a lower influence on virulence in mice.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest Iga, ZmpB and ZmpC as candidate surface proteins responsible for pneumococcal infection and potentially involved in distinct stages of pneumococcal disease.

PMID:
12841855
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC166150
Free PMC Article

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