1887

Abstract

It is established that , the causative agent of bubonic plague, recently evolved from enteropathogenic by undergoing chromosomal degeneration while acquiring two unique plasmids that facilitate tissue invasion (pPCP) and dissemination by fleabite (pMT). Thereafter, plague bacilli spread from central Asia to sylvatic foci throughout the world. These epidemic isolates exhibit a broad host range including man as opposed to enzootic (pestoides) variants that remain in ancient reservoirs where infection is limited to muroid rodents. Cells of are known to express glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Zwf) and aspartase (AspA); these activities are not detectable in epidemic due to missense mutations (substitution of proline for serine at amino position 155 of Zwf and leucine for valine at position 363 of AspA). In this study, functional Zwf was found in pestoides strains E, F and G but not seven other enzootic isolates; enzymic activity was associated with retention of serine at amino acid position 155. Essentially, full AspA activity occurred in pestoides isolates where valine (pestoides A, B, C and D) or serine (pestoides E, F, G and I) occupied position 363. Reduced activity occurred in strains Angola and A16, which contained phenylalanine at this position. The but not of purified AspA from strain Angola was significantly reduced. In this context, of the recently described attenuated enzootic microtus biovar encodes active valine at position 363, further indicating that functional AspA is a biomarker for avirulence of in man.

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2009-01-01
2020-04-02
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