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J Infect Dis. 2001 Sep 15;184(6):723-31. Epub 2001 Aug 10.

Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B enhances tissue damage initiated by other Streptococcus pyogenes products.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, USA.


This study compared the pathology and infection pattern of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B-positive (SpeB(+)) and SpeB-negative (SpeB(-)) isogenic variants of an M1 isolate of Streptococcus pyogenes in a mouse skin air sac model. SpeB(+) strains resulted in severe local tissue damage that extended from the epidermis through the subcutaneous layers, whereas isogenic SpeB(-) variants had reduced gross pathology. At the histologic level, differences in necrosis and host responses to each variant were apparent. Injection of purified SpeB alone into a skin air sac failed to induce any significant tissue damage; however, coinjection of the enzyme with either the wild-type or the speB mutant resulted in increased and accelerated tissue necrosis. Surprisingly, coinjection of the enzyme with the spleen-recovered SpeB(-) variant failed to induce a lesion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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