Pneumolysin, a multifunctional toxin produced by all clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae, is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of pneumococcal bronchopneumonia and septicemia. Using isogenic mutant strains, we examined the effect of deletion of the cytotoxic activity or complement-activating activity of pneumolysin on bacterial growth in lungs and blood, histological changes in infected lung tissue, and the pattern of inflammatory cell recruitment. Both of the activities of pneumolysin contributed to the pathology in the lungs, as well as the timing of the onset of bacteremia. Histological changes in the lungs were delayed after infection with either mutant compared to the changes seen after infection with the wild-type pneumococcus. The complement-activating activity of pneumolysin affected the accumulation of T cells, whereas the toxin's cytolytic activity influenced neutrophil recruitment into lung tissue.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2003|
- Bacterial Proteins
- Complement Activation
- Pneumonia, Pneumococcal
- Streptococcus pneumoniae