Infection and Immunity, 1999, Vol. 67(6), p.3009
Many mucosal pathogens, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, produce proteases that cleave immunoglobulin A (IgA), the predominant immunoglobulin class produced at mucosal surfaces. While considerable circumstantial evidence suggests that IgA1 protease contributes to gonococcal virulence, there is no direct evidence that N. gonorrhoeae requires IgA1 protease activity to infect a human host. We constructed a N. gonorrhoeae iga mutant without introducing new antibiotic resistance markers into the final mutant strain and used human experimental infection to test the ability of the mutant to colonize the male urethra and to cause gonococcal urethritis. Four of the five male volunteers inoculated with the Iga super(-) mutant became infected. In every respect--clinical signs and symptoms, incubation period between inoculation and infection, and the proportion of volunteers infected--the outcome of human experimental infection with FA1090iga was indistinguishable from that previously reported for a variant of parent strain FA1090 matching the mutant in expression of Opa proteins, lipooligosaccharide, and pilin. These results indicate that N. gonorrhoeae does not require IgA1 protease production to cause experimental urethritis in males.
Neisseria Gonorrhoeae ; Proteinase ; Immunoglobulins ; Urethra ; Genitourinary Tract Diseases ; Mutants ; Enzymes;
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