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Microb Pathog. 1992 Feb;12(2):105-13.

Brucella abortus deficient in copper/zinc superoxide dismutase is virulent in BALB/c mice.

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Department of Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg 24061.


The gene encoding the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) of Brucella abortus strain 2308 was identified in a Brucella genomic library utilizing a combination of Western blotting and native gel electrophoresis. The Cu/Zn SOD gene was inactivated in vitro by ligation of a kanamycin resistance gene into the open reading frame encoding SOD. The plasmid born construct was introduced back into B. abortus by electroporation. Replacement of the wild-type Cu/Zn SOD by recombination was demonstrated by showing that both the KnR gene and the Cu/Zn SOD gene hybridized to the same band in a Southern analysis of genomic DNA. In addition, KnR strains were deficient in Cu/Zn SOD activity as assessed by lack of Cu/Zn SOD activity on a native gel and by lack of reactivity with specific serum in a Western analysis. Either strain 2308 or the Cu/Zn SOD deficient mutant injected intraperitoneally into BALB/c mice, exhibited no differences in their ability to colonize the spleen at 7 and 28 days post-inoculation. Thus, the inability to produce Cu/Zn SOD by B. abortus does not significantly impair its virulence in mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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