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Microbiological and Clinical Significance of a New Property of Defective Lysis in Clinical Strains of Pneumococci

E. Tuomanen, H. Pollack, A. Parkinson, M. Davidson, R. Facklam, R. Rich and O. Zak
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 158, No. 1 (Jul., 1988), pp. 36-43
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30136275
Page Count: 8
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Microbiological and Clinical Significance of a New Property of Defective Lysis in Clinical Strains of Pneumococci
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Abstract

A pneumococcal isolate that caused relapsing meningitis in a patient infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was found to display an unusual response to penicillin-rapid death but a striking lack of cellular lysis. This lytic defect was also detected in all four pneumococcal isolates from three additional HIV-infected patients and in more than half of the clinical isolates from patients with bacteremia. In a rabbit model of meningitis, the lysis-defective strain remained cryptic, with a delay of 5 h in the onset of leukocytosis in cerebrospinal fluid. A marked burst of leukocytosis was associated with ampicillin-induced lysis of a lysis-sensitive strain but not of a lysis-defective strain. Pneumococcal clinical isolates have different lytic responses to penicillin; defective lysis may adversely affect the course of meningitis, an observation suggesting that autolysins play a role in modulating infectious diseases.

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