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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Jul;4(7):1111-7.

Construction and characterization of a protective antigen-deficient Bacillus anthracis strain.

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Unité des Antigènes Bactériens, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The pag gene coding for protective antigen (PA), one of the three toxin components of Bacillus anthracis, has been cloned into the mobilizable shuttle vector pAT187 and transferred by conjugation from Escherichia coli to B. anthracis. Using this strategy, an insertionally mutated pag gene constructed and characterized in E. coli, was introduced into B. anthracis Sterne strain. This transconjugant was used to select a recombinant clone (RP8) carrying the inactivated pag gene on the toxin-encoding plasmid, pXO1. Strain RP8 was deficient for PA while still producing the two other toxin components, i.e. lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). In contrast to spores from the wild-type Sterne strain, spores prepared from RP8 were totally non-lethal in mice. These results clearly establish the central role played by PA in B. anthracis pathogenicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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