THE ENZYME urease is thought to play a major role as a virulence factor in urinary-tract infections with (Braude and Siemienski, 1960) although it may not be the only factor (Eudy, Burrous and Sigler, 1971). Urease degrades urea with release of ammonia which may cause damage and death to the renal epithelium, inactivation of complement, and conditions favouring the development of renal stones. Many of these effects can be prevented by the administration of urease inhibitors (Griffith and Musher, 1973; Griffith, Musher and Campbell, 1973; Aronson, Medalia and Griffel, 1974; Musher , 1975).

Phillips (1955) found wide variation in the pathogenicity of different strains of for the mouse kidney , and Senior (1979) has shown that particular proticine-production/sensitivity (P/S) types of have a special affinity for the urinary tract whereas other P/S types and other species are seldom incriminated in serious urinary-tract infections. The aim of this study was to determine whether or not these differences in pathogenicity among strains of were associated with differences in the types of ureases produced by these strains.


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