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The influence of in vitro fitness defects on pneumococcal ability to colonize and to cause invasive disease.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). (Wolf-Watz)
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2008 (English)In: BMC microbiology, ISSN 1471-2180, Vol. 8, 65- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a genetically diverse major human pathogen, yet a common colonizer of the nasopharynx. Here we analyzed the influence of defects affecting in vitro growth rate, on the ability of S. pneumoniae to colonize and to cause invasive disease in vivo. RESULTS: Of eleven different clinical isolates one serotype 14 carrier isolate showed a significantly longer generation time as compared to other isolates, and was severely attenuated in mice. To directly investigate the impact of growth rate on virulence, a panel of mutants in five non-essential housekeeping genes was constructed in the virulent TIGR4 background by insertion-deletion mutagenesis. Three of these mutants (ychF, hemK and yebC) were, to different degrees, growth defective, and showed a reduced invasiveness in an intranasal murine challenge model that correlated to their in vitro growth rate, but remained capable of colonizing the upper airways. The growth defect, as well as virulence defect of the hemK insertion-deletion mutant, was mediated by polarity effects on the downstream yrdC gene, encoding a probable chaperone in ribosome assembly. CONCLUSION: We conclude that large fitness defects are needed to completely prevent pneumococci from causing invasive disease after intranasal challenge. However, even severe growth defects still allow pneumococci to persistently colonize the upper airways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 8, 65- p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20423DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-8-65PubMedID: 18423011OAI: diva2:208666
Available from: 2009-03-19 Created: 2009-03-19 Last updated: 2010-03-03

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Wolf-Watz, Hans
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Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology)Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR)Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS)

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