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J Infect Dis. 1987 Feb;155(2):236-41.

Mouse skin damage caused by cytolysin from Vibrio vulnificus and by V. vulnificus infection.


Light and electron microscopy of mouse skin damage caused by intradermal infection with a virulent strain of Vibrio vulnificus and by a single intradermal injection of the cytolytic toxin produced by the bacterium revealed similar structural alterations. The epidermis was intact; however, the infection and toxin produced acute cellulitis characterized by extensive extracellular edema; disorganization of collagen bundles; large accumulations of cell debris and plasma proteins; damaged or necrotic fat cells, capillary endothelial cells, and muscle cells; and mild inflammatory cell infiltration. The virulent strain of V. vulnificus produced a capsule and was resistant to phagocytosis in vivo, whereas a weakly virulent strain of the bacterium did not produce a capsule and was readily phagocytized and digested. Factors that may be important in the pathogenesis of V. vulnificus wound infections include a capsule that inhibits phagocytosis and an extracellular cytolytic toxin that is responsible, at least in part, for the severe tissue damage characteristic of such wound infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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