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Int J Med Microbiol. 2003 Jun;293(2-3):145-52.

Aerobic growth deficient Haemophilus influenzae mutants are non-virulent: implications on metabolism.

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Department of Paediatrics, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom.


We investigated aerobic metabolism in Haemophilus influenzae to better understand its essential physiological growth pathways. We describe the isolation and characterization of transposon insertions leading to knockout mutations in lpdA, encoding dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase. H. influenzae Rd lpdA::Tn10d-cat mutants were unable to grow aerobically and an H. influenzae type b lpdA::Tn10d-cat mutant was significantly attenuated in an infant rat infection model. Since LpdA is a functional subunit of both pyruvate dehydrogenase (aceEF) and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (sucAB) the phenotype of the lpdA mutant was further explored by creating separate knockout mutants in the sucAB and aceEF loci. DeltaaceEF and deltasucAB mutants were both significantly attenuated in virulence in the infant rat, but only the sucAB mutant was able to grow aerobically. We therefore conclude that the ability for aerobic growth is critical for invasive disease, and furthermore that a TCA cycle enzyme, alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, appears to contribute a key metabolic function in vivo, but is not required for growth under laboratory conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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