Chapter 28 : The Virulence Properties of

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This chapter focuses on virulence properties of . Using primarily biochemical approaches, it was established almost thirty years ago that three principal properties distinguished strains from the other oral streptococci isolated from the human oral cavity: (i) their ability to synthesize insoluble adhesive glucans from sucrose; (ii) their relative acid tolerance (aciduricity); and (iii) their rapid production of lactic acid from dietary sugars. Furthermore, the importance of these properties relative to cariogenicity was subsequently confirmed utilizing genetic approaches with defined mutants and rat model systems. The development of recombinant DNA techniques as well as gene inactivation strategies was crucial in this regard. These approaches identified a number of genes of the mutans streptococci that influenced the virulence of these organisms, including the genes coding for glucosyltransferases (Gtfs), the and genes encoding glucan-binding proteins, expressing a cell surface adhesion, and the gene involved in intracellular polysaccharide storage. In addition, a number of other genes that have been shown to affect potential virulence properties in vitro were also characterized, including some involved in the stress responses of (, , , and an apurinic-apyrimidinic endonuclease gene).

Citation: Kuramitsu H. 2006. The Virulence Properties of , p 340-346. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch28

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Gene Expression and Regulation
16s rRNA Sequencing
Human Infectious Diseases
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Virulence factors of identified in vivo

See text for references.

Citation: Kuramitsu H. 2006. The Virulence Properties of , p 340-346. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch28

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