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See detailHydrogen peroxide-mediated killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by Streptococcus pyogenes.
Jansen, W. T. M.; Bolm, M.; Balling, Rudi UL et al

in Infection and Immunity (2002), 70(9), 5202-7

Caenorhabditis elegans is currently introduced as a new, facile, and cheap model organism to study the pathogenesis of gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica serovar ... [more ▼]

Caenorhabditis elegans is currently introduced as a new, facile, and cheap model organism to study the pathogenesis of gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The mechanisms of killing involve either diffusible exotoxins or infection-like processes. Recently, it was shown that also some gram-positive bacteria kill C. elegans, although the precise mechanisms of killing remained open. We examined C. elegans as a pathogenesis model for the gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, a major human pathogen capable of causing a wide spectrum of diseases. We demonstrate that S. pyogenes kills C. elegans, both on solid and in liquid medium. Unlike P. aeruginosa and S. enterica serovar Typhimurium, the killing by S. pyogenes is solely mediated by hydrogen peroxide. Killing required live streptococci; the killing capacity depends on the amount of hydrogen peroxide produced, and killing can be inhibited by catalase. Major exotoxins of S. pyogenes are not involved in the killing process as confirmed by using specific toxin inhibitors and knockout mutants. Moreover, no accumulation of S. pyogenes in C. elegans is observed, which excludes the involvement of infection-like processes. Preliminary results show that S. pneumoniae can also kill C. elegans by hydrogen peroxide production. Hydrogen peroxide-mediated killing might represent a common mechanism by which gram-positive, catalase-negative pathogens kill C. elegans. [less ▲]

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