1887

Abstract

is a member of the Anginosus group streptococci (AGS) and primarily inhabits the human oral cavity. is composed of three subspecies: subsp. (SCC), subsp. and the newly described subspecies subsp. . Although previous studies have established that SCC contains β-haemolytic strains, the factor(s) responsible for β-haemolysis in β-haemolytic SCC (β-SCC) has yet to be clarified. Recently, we discovered that a streptolysin S (SLS) homologue is the β-haemolytic factor of β-haemolytic subsp. (β-SAA), another member of the AGS. Furthermore, because previous studies have suggested that other AGS species, except for , do not possess a haemolysin(s) belonging to the family of cholesterol-dependent cytolysins, we hypothesized that, as with β-SAA, the SLS homologue is the β-haemolytic factor of β-SCC, and therefore aimed to investigate and characterize the haemolytic factor of β-SCC in the present study. PCR amplification revealed that all of the tested β-SCC strains were positive for the homologue of SCC ( ). Further investigations using β-SCC strain W277 were conducted to elucidate the relationship between and β-haemolysis by constructing deletion mutants, which completely lost β-haemolytic activity. This loss of β-haemolytic activity was restored by -complementation of . Furthermore, a co-cultivation assay established that the cytotoxicity of β-SCC was clearly dependent on the presence of . These results demonstrate that is the factor responsible for β-SCC β-haemolysis and cytotoxicity.

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2014-05-01
2020-07-04
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