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J Infect Dis. 1999 Apr;179(4):907-14.

Interaction between group A streptococci and the plasmin(ogen) system promotes virulence in a mouse skin infection model.

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Laboratory of Pathology, Division of Clincal Science, NCI/NIH, Bethesda, MD 20895-1500.


Group A streptococci are capable of acquiring a surface-associated, unregulatable plasmin-like enzymatic activity when incubated in human plasma. The effect of this enzymatic activity on virulence of group A isolate CS101 was examined in a mouse skin infection model. Initial studies demonstrated enhanced virulence for bacteria preincubated in human plasma but not in plasminogen-depleted plasma. A direct correlation between surface-associated enzymatic activity and virulence was not observed; however, an association between virulence and the assembly of a surface-associated plasminogen activator that could activate mouse plasminogen was noted. This activity enhanced virulence in wild type but not in plg-/- plasminogen-deficient mice. These results support the hypothesis that acquisition of a surface-associated plasmin(ogen)-dependent enzymatic activity can contribute to the virulence of group A streptococcal invasive infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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