Generation and testing of mutants of Enterococcus faecalis in a mouse peritonitis model.

TitleGeneration and testing of mutants of Enterococcus faecalis in a mouse peritonitis model.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsSingh, KV, Qin, X, Weinstock, GM, Murray, BE
JournalJ Infect Dis
Date Published1998 Nov
KeywordsAnimals, Disease Models, Animal, Enterococcus faecalis, Feces, Female, Gelatinases, Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections, Hemolysin Proteins, Mice, Mutation, Peritonitis, Rats

A previously described mouse peritonitis model was used to study derivatives of Enterococcus faecalis strain OG1RF. The addition of sterile rat fecal extracts (SRFE) lowered the LD50 of OG1RF >10-fold. Hemolysin production caused a 35-fold lower LD50 and a much shorter survival, similar to previous results using a peritonitis model without SRFE. A purine (but not a pyrimidine) auxotroph was considerably less lethal than wild type; gelatinase mutants were also attenuated. A suicide vector was generated with an enterococcal selectable marker in order to disrupt a gene encoding an E. faecalis antigen; the resulting mutant was not attenuated despite a slower growth rate. In conclusion, this model allows attenuated mutants to be detected, corroborates prior reports that hemolysin is a virulence factor, and suggests a role for gelatinase in virulence of E. faecalis in mice; the attenuated purine auxotroph may provide a system for developing vectors for in vivo expression systems.

Alternate JournalJ Infect Dis
PubMed ID9780263
Grant ListAI-33516 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States

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