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Microbiol Immunol. 1992;36(4):369-80.

Bactericidal activities of rat defensins and synthetic rabbit defensins on Staphylococci, Klebsiella pneumoniae (Chedid, 277, and 8N3), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (mucoid and nonmucoid strains), Salmonella typhimurium (Ra, Rc, Rd, and Re of LPS mutants) and Escherichia coli.

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Department of Microbiology, Saga Medical School, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Microbiol Immunol 1992;36(8):following 909.


Rat defensins were purified and tested for in vitro bactericidal assay against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus (209P, Cowan I, Smith diffuse and Smith compact) were resistant to defensins, whereas Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Micrococcus lysodeikticus and Bacillus subtilis were less sensitive. Gram-negative bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (mucoid and K) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (Chedid, 277, and 8N3 which were heavily capsulated, moderately capsulated and noncapsulated, respectively) were all very sensitive to defensins and killed within 20 min. Escherichia coli was moderately sensitive and the rough mutants of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Salmonella typhimurium LT2, such as Ra, Rc, Rd, and Re were equally sensitive to defensins, being killed within 40 min. Lysozyme did not show any bactericidal activity except against M. lysodeikticus and B. subtilis, whereas it enhanced the bactericidal activity of defensins against P. aeruginosa, E. coli, and K. pneumoniae and suppressed the killing activity of defensins against S. typhimurium and S. aureus. With regard to the three synthetic rabbit defensins, NP1, NP4, and NP5, NP1 showed strong bactericidal activity against K. pneumoniae 277, comparable to that of rat defensins. Neither NP4 nor NP5 showed any bactericidal activity, while NP5 rather enhanced the bactericidal activity of NP1 against K. pneumoniae 277.

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