Generation and testing of mutants of enterocoecus faecalis in a mouse peritonitis model

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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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1416-1420
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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