Hypervirulent Group A Streptococcus of Genotype emm3 Invades the Vascular System in Pulmonary Infection of Mice

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2018-06

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Natural mutations of the two-component regulatory system CovRS are frequently associated with invasive Group A Streptococcus (GAS) isolates and lead to the enhancement in virulence gene expression, innate immune evasion, systemic dissemination, and virulence. How CovRS mutations enhance systemic dissemination is not well understood. A hypervirulent GAS isolate of the emm3 genotype, MGAS315, was characterized using a mouse model of pulmonary infection to understand systemic dissemination. This strain has a G1370T mutation in the sensor kinase covS gene of CovRS. Intratracheal inoculation of MGAS315 led to the lung infection that displayed extensive Gram staining at the alveolar ducts, alveoli, and peribronchovascular and perivascular interstitium. The correction of the covS mutation did not alter the infection at the alveolar ducts and alveoli but prevented GAS invasion of the peribronchovascular and perivascular interstitium. Furthermore, the covS mutation allowed MGAS315 to disrupt and degrade the smooth muscle and endothelial layers of the blood vessels, directly contributing to systemic dissemination. It is concluded that hypervirulent emm3 GAS covS mutants can invade the perivascular interstitium and directly attack the vascular system for systemic dissemination.

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Lei, Benfang, Dylan Minor, Wenchao Feng, and Mengyao Liu. "Hypervirulent Group A Streptococcus of Genotype emm3 Invades the Vascular System in Pulmonary Infection of Mice." Infection & Immunity 86, no. 6 (June 2018): e00080-18. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00080-18.
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