SUMMARY: Deletion mutants of recombinant plasmids encoding the KS71B fimbrial antigens of the uropathogenic strain KS71 (O4:K12) were constructed. The effects of these mutations were tested by transforming the mutated plasmids into non-fimbriated HB101 cells and testing the transformants for fimbriation and haemagglutination. A deletion transcriptionally upstream from the fimbrial subunit gene increased the expression of KS71B fimbriae. Deletion of the fimbrial subunit gene resulted in non-fimbriated but haemagglutinating transformants, whereas a deletion 6 kb transcriptionally downstream from the subunit gene resulted in non-haemagglutinating but fimbriate transformants, indicating that fimbriation and haemagglutination were genetically separable. We also present evidence suggesting that the fimbrillin and haemagglutinin are physically associated in the wild-type KS71 strain.


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