1887

Abstract

The polysaccharide capsule of and several well-characterized virulence proteins are known to contribute to the pathogenesis of pneumococcal disease. However, there is a paucity of data on the expression of their respective genes . In this study, the relative abundance of the mRNA transcripts of the genes encoding pneumolysin (), pneumococcal surface protein A (), pneumococcal surface antigen A () and choline-binding protein A (), and of the first gene of the capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis locus (), was measured in virulent type 2 pneumococci harvested from the blood of BALB/c mice at 12 h and 24 h following intraperitoneal infection. The mRNA levels were then compared, using relative quantitative RT-PCR, with those present in organisms grown in serum broth. The expression of was upregulated threefold at 12 h, and 10-fold at 24 h post-infection; the expression of and was upregulated threefold and fivefold, respectively, at 12 h post-infection. Interestingly, the expression of was 36-fold higher at 24 h post-infection whereas the expression of was upregulated approximately fourfold at 12 and 24 h post-infection. However, mRNA levels remained comparable and . When organisms were grown in whole blood or THY broth, the relative expression of these genes in the two growth media also differed markedly. This work provides direct molecular evidence that known virulence-associated genes of are differentially expressed . Data on the relative expression of these genes in different growth media also suggests that the regulation of expression of these genes is highly complex and multifactorial.

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2002-07-01
2019-10-21
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