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Vet Microbiol. 1987 Mar;13(3):281-9.

Assessment of elastase as a Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factor in experimental lung infection in mink.

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National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden.


Anaesthetized mink were inoculated intratracheally with an elastase-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain (PAO1) and two mutants derived from PAO1 with defective elastase formation (strains PAO1-E64 and PAO1-las-16). Survival times were prolonged in mink infected with the mutants, and microscopic examination of lungs showed that the elastase-positive wild type strain produced more pronounced tissue damage and haemorrhages than did the elastase-defective mutant strains. The strains PAO1 and PAO1-las-16 were also compared to three strains isolated from natural infection in mink which differed in elastase production. The mink strains with high or moderate elastase production produced more severe lung damage and were associated with a higher mortality than the other strains tested. The results indicate that P. aeruginosa may enhance the virulence of the bacterium in lung infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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