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J Infect Dis. 2000 Oct;182(4):1117-28. Epub 2000 Sep 8.

Molecular epidemiology of nga and NAD glycohydrolase/ADP-ribosyltransferase activity among Streptococcus pyogenes causing streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

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Infectious Disease Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boise, ID 83702, USA.


Severe invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) infections emerged in the late 1980s, yet no single virulence factor has been common to all isolates from infected patients. A strong association was recently found between isolates of such cases (regardless of M type) and the production of NAD glycohydrolase (NADase). Of interest, all M-1 strains isolated after 1988 were positive for NADase, whereas virtually all M-1 GAS were previously negative for NADase. Genetic analysis demonstrated that GAS isolates were >96% identical in nga and >99% identical in their upstream regulatory sequences. Furthermore, because NADase-negative strains did not produce immunoreactive NADase, we concluded that additional regulatory element(s) control NADase production. NADase purified from GAS altered neutrophil-directed migration and chemiluminescence responses and had potent ADP-ribosyltransferase activity. In summary, the temporal relationship of NADase expression, alone or with other streptococcal virulence factors, may contribute to the pathogenesis of invasive GAS infections.

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