Haemophilus ducreyi lipooligosaccharide mutant defective in expression of β-1,4-glucosyltransferase is virulent in humans

R. S. Young, M. J. Filiatrault, K. R. Fortney, A. F. Hood, B. P. Katz, Jr Munson, A. A. Campagnari, S. M. Spinola

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9 Scopus citations


The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) of Haemophilus ducreyi contains a major glycoform that is immunochemically identical to paragloboside, a glycosphingolipid precursor of major human blood group antigens. We recently identified the gene responsible for the glucosyltransferase activity and constructed an isogenic mutant (35000glu-) deficient in this activity. 35000glu- makes an LOS that consists only of the heptose trisaccharide core and 2-keto-deoxyoctulosonic acid (KDO). For this study, the mutant was reconstructed in the 35000HP (human passaged [HP]) background. Five human subjects were inoculated with 35000HP and 35000HPglu- in a dose-response trial. The pustule formation rates were 40% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.7 to 72.6%) at 10 sites for 35000HP and 46.7% (95% CI, 24.8 to 69.9%) at 15 sites for 35000HPglu-. The histopathology and recovery rates of H. ducreyi from surface cultures and biopsies obtained from mutant and parent sites were similar. These results indicate that the expression of glycoforms with sugar moieties extending beyond the heptose trisaccharide core is not required for pustule formation by H. ducreyi in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4180-4184
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 11 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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