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Infect Immun. 1975 Oct;12(4):910-8.

Effect of pneumococci on blood clotting, platelets, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes.


Infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and products from the organism have been associated with alterations in blood clotting and function of platelets. Pneumococci and pneumococcal polysaccharide shortened the clotting times of whole blood, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and platelet-poor plasma (PPP) in vitro. Clotting times of PPP and PRP from C6-deficient animals were likewise decreased. The bacteria had no effect on the one-stage prothrombin time or the partial thromboplastin time when the organisms were used as activating agents. Platelets aggregated in the presence of pneumococci, but aggregation was prevented by the addition of cyclic adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cAMP). Furthermore, cAMP corrected the shortened clotting time of PRP in the presence of pneumococci. The clumping and release of polymorphonuclear coagulant that was induced by pneumococci was not prevented by cAMP. Thus, pneumococci exert several dose-dependent thromboplastic effects: (i) release of platelet thromboplastic substances; (ii) a direct thromboplastic effect; and (iii) release of polymorphonuclear coagulant.

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