Haemophilus ducreyi expresses several putative virulence factors in vitro. Isogenic mutant-to-parent comparisons have been performed in a human model of experimental infection to examine whether specific gene products are involved in pathogenesis. Several mutants (momp, ftpA, losB, lst, cdtC, and hhdB) were as virulent as the parent in the human model, suggesting that their gene products did not play a major role in pustule formation. However, we could not exclude the possibility that the gene of interest was not expressed during the initial stages of infection. Biopsies of pustules obtained from volunteers infected with H. ducreyi were subjected to reverse transcription-PCR. Transcripts corresponding to momp, ftpA, losB, lst, cdtB, and hhdA were expressed in vivo. In addition, transcripts for other putative virulence determinants such as ompA2, tdhA, lspA1, and lspA2 were detected in the biopsies. These results indicate that although several candidate virulence determinants are expressed during experimental infection, they do not have a major role in the initial stages of pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases