Cell-Associated Hemolytic Activity in Environmental Strains of Plesiomonas shigelloides Expressing Cell-Free, Iron-Influenced Extracellular Hemolysin

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Abstract:

Hemolysis is a means of providing pathogenic bacteria with heme iron in vivo. In a previous work, iron-influenced hemolytic activity against sheep erythrocytes was detected in cell-free supernatants, but not in the cell fraction of two environmental Plesiomonas shigelloides strains incubated without shaking. Both strains have the hugA gene, which encodes an outer membrane receptor required for heme iron utilization. The present study was undertaken to investigate the expression of a second hemolytic activity detected during aerated incubation in normal and iron-depleted tryptone soya broth (id-TSB). An agar overlay procedure and doubling dilution titrations were employed to detect the hemolytic activity against several erythrocyte species. The kinetics of growth and hemolytic activity were assayed at 35°C in aerated normal and id-TSB and salmon extract. Overlaid colonies showed a cell-associated beta-hemolytic activity within 4 h. For aerated cell-free supernatants, titers above 16 were not attained until 30 to 48 h of incubation; the best activity was noted with dog and mouse erythrocytes. After 24 h of aerated incubation, sonicated cells yielded high hemolytic activity against dog erythrocytes without activity in supernatants, but after 48 h, only 28 to 30% of the total activity remained cell associated. The hemolytic factor was released in broths during the death phase. Hemolytic activity was not detected in fish extract. This and other studies suggest that P. shigelloides may produce at least two hemolytic factors, their expression and detection being influenced by environmental growth conditions and testing procedures. The overlay assay appears to be the best routine method for detecting hemolytic activity in P. shigelloides.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Hygiene and Food Technology, Veterinary Faculty, University of León, E-24071-León, Spain

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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