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Infect Immun. 1992 Oct;60(10):4414-7.

Invasin expression in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Microbiologie, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.


A 3.2-kb region on the chromosome of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, called inv, encodes invasin, a 103-kDa protein of the bacterial outer membrane. Invasin mediates bacterial entry into cultured animal cells. Six Y. pseudotuberculosis strains isolated from animal or human infections were analyzed for the presence of inv-related sequences with a radiolabeled inv clone, pRI203. We found that inv-specific sequences were present in all strains studied. Strains cured of virulence plasmid pYV were studied by Western immunoblot analysis with a monoclonal antibody directed against invasin. All but one strain produced invasin, but some strains produced more invasin than others. A strong correlation was found between the level of invasin production by these strains and their ability to enter into HEp-2 or CHO cells. The virulence of these strains was assessed in a murine model by measuring the number of bacteria in the spleen after intravenous challenge or in the mesenteric lymph nodes after intragastric challenge. The capacities of strains to invade cultured mammalian cells and to colonize the spleen were strongly correlative. In contrast, the ability of strains to translocate from the intestinal lumen to the mesenteric lymph nodes after intragastric inoculation did not correlate with their in vitro invasiveness.

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