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Microbiology. 1995 Oct;141 ( Pt 10):2749-56.

Role of LPS length in clearance rate of bacteria from the bloodstream in mice.

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Department of Microbiology, Toho University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) never spread systemically. This may be due to serum sensitivity since these strains are very sensitive to complement-mediated bactericidal activity. A serum-resistant mutant, P. aeruginosa TUM3 HSR, was obtained from serum-sensitive strain TUM3 from a CF patient in order to clarify the mechanism of failure of systemic spread. LPS profiles on silver-stained gels and immunological analysis revealed that a long O-polysaccharide side chain was overproduced on the LPS molecules of TUM3 HSR as compared with the LPS of TUM3. The clearance rate from the bloodstream in mice was compared in the two strains. The number of TUM3 bacteria in 1 ml of blood, 10 min after injection into the tail vein, significantly decreased from 1.7 x 10(8) to 3.7 x 10(5) c.f.u. ml-1. In contrast, TUM3 HSR was not eliminated during the same period (decrease from 1.9 x 10(8) to 3.4 x 10(7) c.f.u. ml-1). Interestingly, these isogenic strains were not killed by 40% murine serum, probably reflecting immaturity of the complement-mediated killing system in mice. These results pointed to a correlation between LPS structure and blood clearance rate in mice. This was confirmed by examining blood clearance kinetics using the smooth-LPS strain Salmonella typhimurium LT2 and LPS-deficient mutants derived from it. S. typhimurium LT2 resisted blood clearance while the LPS-deficient mutants were cleared rapidly. None of the S. typhimurium strains were killed by murine serum. The number of P. aeruginosa TUM3 and S. typhimurium LPS-deficient mutants trapped in the liver following injection into the peripheral circulation was greater than that of their counterparts.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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