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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005 Jan 1;242(1):101-8.

Type III secretion system cluster 3 is required for maximal virulence of Burkholderia pseudomallei in a hamster infection model.

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Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary Health Sciences Centre, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alta., Canada T2N 4N1.


Burkholderia pseudomallei, the etiological agent of melioidosis, is an animal pathogen capable of inducing a highly fatal septicemia. B. pseudomallei possesses three type III secretion system (TTSS) clusters, two of which (TTSS1 and TTSS2) are homologous to the TTSS of the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum, and one (TTSS3) is homologous to the Salmonella SPI-1 mammalian pathogenicity island. We have demonstrated that TTSS3 is required for the full virulence of B. pseudomallei in a hamster model of infection. We have also examined the virulence of B. pseudomallei mutants deficient in several putative TTSS3 effector molecules, and found no significant attenuation of B. pseudomallei virulence in the hamster model.

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