The fibronectin-binding capacity and host cell adherence of Streptococcus pyogenes strains are discordant with each other

M Edwards, Peter Fagan, Bart Currie, K Sriprakash

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    Surface exposed fibronectin-binding proteins (FBPs) play an important role in the adherence of Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus, GAS) to host cells. This pathogen expresses numerous FBPs, of which SfbI, SfbII and PrtF2 are major surface exposed FBPs. However, GAS strains differ in the genetic potential to express these proteins. To test whether this difference reflects in differences in fibronectin (Fn) binding, a set of circulating strains previously examined for adherence to host cells was used. The 68 distinct strains were isolated from throat, skin and blood. They were analyzed for (a) the presence of genes for SfbI, SfbII and PrtF2 and (b) the extent of Fn binding. The results suggest that strains possessing two or more of the genes for these FBPs bound Fn significantly more than strains possessing none or one of the genes. No correlation between the extent of Fn binding and the tissue site of isolation was found. Furthermore, together with our previous studies on adherence capacity of these GAS strains, we found no correlation between Fn binding ability and the avidity of the strains to adhere to epithelial cells. We suggest that while Fn binding is important for adhesion, for many GAS strains the extent of Fn binding is not the critical determinant of adherence. � 2004 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1156-1162
    Number of pages7
    JournalMicrobes and Infection
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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