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Fibrinogen binds to nontoxigenic and toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains

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Author(s): Priscila Soares Sabbadini | Marcia Rocha Novais Genovez | Cecília Ferreira da Silva | Thelma Lúcia Novaes Adelino | Cintia Silva dos Santos | Gabriela Andrade Pereira | Prescilla Emy Nagao | Alexandre Alves de Souza de Oliveira Dias | Ana Luiza Mattos-Guaraldi | Raphael Hirata Júnior

Journal: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz.
ISSN 0074-0276

Volume: 105;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 706;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Corynebacterium diphtheriae | diphtheria | fibrin | fibrinogen | pseudomembrane | nontoxigenic

ABSTRACT
The production of fibrinous exudates may play an important role in determining the outcome of bacterial infection. Although pseudomembrane formation is a characteristic feature of diphtheria, little is known about the fibrinogen (Fbn)-binding properties of Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains and the influence of the gene that codes for diphtheria toxin (tox gene) in this process. In this study we demonstrated the ability of C. diphtheriae strains to bind to Fbn and to convert Fbn to fibrin. Bacterial interaction with rabbit plasma was evaluated by both slide and tube tests. Interaction of microorganisms with human Fbn was evaluated by both enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated (FITC) Fbn binding assays. Nontoxigenic and toxigenic strains formed bacterial aggregates in the presence of plasma in the slide tests. The ability to convert Fbn to a loose web of fibrin in the plasma solution in the tube tests appeared to be a common characteristic of the species, including strains that do not carry the tox gene. Fbn binding to C. diphtheriae strains occurred at varying intensities, as demonstrated by the FITC-Fbn and ELISA binding assays. Our data suggest that the capacity to bind to Fbn and to convert Fbn to fibrin may play a role in pseudomembrane formation and act as virulence determinants of both nontoxigenic and toxigenic strains.
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