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Science. 2004 Aug 27;305(5688):1283-6.

Plasminogen is a critical host pathogenicity factor for group A streptococcal infection.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Abstract

Group A streptococci, a common human pathogen, secrete streptokinase, which activates the host's blood clot-dissolving protein, plasminogen. Streptokinase is highly specific for human plasminogen, exhibiting little or no activity against other mammalian species, including mouse. Here, a transgene expressing human plasminogen markedly increased mortality in mice infected with streptococci, and this susceptibility was dependent on bacterial streptokinase expression. Thus, streptokinase is a key pathogenicity factor and the primary determinant of host species specificity for group A streptococcal infection. In addition, local fibrin clot formation may be implicated in host defense against microbial pathogens.

PMID:
15333838
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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