1887

Abstract

The polysaccharide capsule protects from phagocytosis during invasive infection, but inhibits adherence. Serotypes vary in their tendency to colonize the nasopharynx or cause invasive infection, and differences in capsule expression may play a role. Expression of the first gene of the capsule operon, , during growth of 43 clinical isolates representing 14 common pneumococcal serotypes was compared using quantitative RT-PCR. Serotypes associated with invasive infection (1, 4, 5, 7F, 8 and 14) expressed an average of twofold (=0.0003) more than serotypes associated with nasopharyngeal colonization (6A, 6B, 9V, 15, 18C, 19F, 23F and 33). There was no difference in expression in response to growth under environmental oxygen or anaerobic conditions between the invasive and colonizing transparent strains tested: oxygen concentration did not affect expression in either the invasive or the colonizing transparent strains. Expression of at OD 0.6 tended to be greater in strains with a longer lag phase during growth (=0.07). Therefore, expression under ambient oxygen concentrations correlates with serotype-specific invasiveness and is inversely associated with the prevalence of serotype-specific carriage.

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2007-08-01
2019-10-14
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