Roles of alpha-toxin and beta-toxin in virulence of Staphylococcus aureus for the mouse mammary gland

Bramley, A.J., Patel, A.H. , O'Reilly, M., Foster, R. and Foster, T.J. (1989) Roles of alpha-toxin and beta-toxin in virulence of Staphylococcus aureus for the mouse mammary gland. Infection and Immunity, 57(8), pp. 2489-2494.

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Mutants of Staphylococcus aureus which fail to express alpha-toxin (Hly), beta-toxin (Hlb), or both have been constructed by site-specific mutagenesis. The virulence of the mutants was compared with that of wild-type toxigenic strains by intramammary inoculation of lactating mice. A bovine strain, M60, and a laboratory strain, 8325-4, caused acute mastitis and death within 48 h for 60% of the mice inoculated. Animals inoculated with Hly mutants also developed acute mastitis, but no deaths occurred. Comparisons of Hly- or Hlb-positive strains with the double mutation Hly Hlb showed that both toxins led to a significantly higher recovery of S. aureus from the gland 48 h postinfection. Histopathological examination of mammary glands showed that phagocytosis of bacteria occurred irrespective of toxigenicity, but toxigenic strains, particularly those which were Hly+, continued to multiply, invaded the interalveolar tissues, and produced severe lesions. Stimulation of an inflammatory response by inoculation of the mammary gland with endotoxin prior to challenge with S. aureus reduced recovery of the bacteria 10- to 100-fold and, under these conditions, neither alpha-toxin nor beta-toxin contributed significantly to growth and survival.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Patel, Professor Arvind
Authors: Bramley, A.J., Patel, A.H., O'Reilly, M., Foster, R., and Foster, T.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Infection and Immunity
ISSN (Online):1098-5522
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