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J Clin Microbiol. 1985 Apr;21(4):607-10.

Catalase and superoxide dismutase activities in virulent and nonvirulent Staphylococcus aureus isolates.


Catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities of virulent and nonvirulent isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were compared. The mean value of catalase activity for intact cell suspensions was 2,773 +/- 1,049 Kat f units (Kat f is defined as the ratio of the velocity constant of catalase at 0 min to the protein content in grams per milliliter); that of nonvirulent isolates was 154 +/- 92 Kat f units. The mean value of the catalase activities for lysates of virulent isolates was 260 +/- 120 Kat f units, and that of nonvirulent isolates was 31 +/- 19 Kat f units. Catalase levels in intact cells as well as in cell lysates were significantly different for virulent than for nonvirulent S. aureus isolates (P less than 0.001). The mean value of SOD activities was 20.85 +/- 11.48 U (1 U is defined as the amount of SOD required to inhibit the rate of reduction of cytochrome c by 50%) for virulent cell lysates, compared with a mean of 5.39 +/- 2.89 U for nonvirulent cell lysates. The SOD levels in virulent and nonvirulent isolates were significantly different (P less than 0.001). The virulence of the S. aureus isolates was determined by comparing weight gains of neonatal mice injected with virulent or nonvirulent strains. The percent weight gain of neonatal mice injected with virulent isolates was significantly lower than that of those injected with nonvirulent isolates.

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