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Virulence factors of Haemophilus ducreyi.

By J A Odumeru, G M Wiseman and A R Ronald


We investigated the susceptibility of virulent and avirulent strains of Haemophilus ducreyi to the bactericidal activity of normal human serum and to phagocytosis and killing by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL). Strains were defined as virulent if intradermal inoculation into a rabbit produced a typical necrotic lesion. Nonvirulent strains produced no cutaneous lesions in rabbits. Virulent strains were resistant to the complement-mediated lethal action of normal human and rabbit sera, whereas avirulent strains were susceptible (greater than 95% kill, 60 min). Virulent strains were relatively resistant to phagocytosis and killing by human PMNL, in contrast to the avirulent strains. In past studies polymyxin resistance has been correlated with virulence in H. ducreyi. In our studies, polymyxin resistance could not be correlated with virulence, since polymyxin-sensitive mutants obtained from polymyxin-resistant parent strains remained virulent for rabbits and resistant to bactericidal action of normal serum and phagocytosis and killing by human PMNL. Similarly, polymyxin-resistant mutants obtained from polymyxin-sensitive parent strains remained avirulent for rabbits and susceptible to bactericidal action of normal serum and PMNL. The acquisition of polymyxin resistance was accompanied by the loss of a 47,000-molecular-weight protein. The association of serum resistance and resistance to phagocytosis and killing by human PMNL with virulent strains, as defined by the rabbit intradermal test, suggests that these factors may mediate the pathogenicity of H. ducreyi

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1984
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:264342
Provided by: PubMed Central
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