The Enterobacterial Common Antigen–Like Gene Cluster of Haemophilus ducreyi Contributes to Virulence in Humans

Banks, Keith E.; Fortney, Kate R.; Baker, Beth; Billings, Steven D.; Katz, Barry P.; Munson Jr, Robert S.; Spinola, Stanley M.
June 2008
Journal of Infectious Diseases;6/1/2008, Vol. 197 Issue 11, p1531
Academic Journal
Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP contains a cluster of homologues of genes required for the synthesis of enterobacterial common antigen (ECA), suggesting that H. ducreyi may express a putative ECA-like glycoconjugate. WecA initiates the synthesis of ECA by transferring N-acetylglucosamine to undecaprenyl-P, to form lipid I. A wecA mutant (35000HPwecA) was constructed, and 5 volunteers were inoculated at 3 sites with fixed doses of 35000HP on one arm and at 3 sites with varying doses of 35000HPwecA on the other arm. 35000HPwecA caused pustules to form at 3 sites inoculated with a dose 2.5-fold higher than that of 35000HP. However, at sites inoculated with similar doses of 35000HP and 35000HPwecA, pustules developed at 46.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.3% #x2013;70.0%) of 15 parent-strain sites and at 8.3% (95% CI, 0.01%–23.6%) of 12 mutant-strain sites (P = .013). Thus, the expression of wecA contributes to the ability of H. ducreyi to cause pustules in humans.


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