The ultrastructure and enzyme activity of an avirulent, weakly-pigmenting, colonial variant (W50/BE1) was compared with that of the highly-virulent parent strain, Bacteroides gingivalis W50, in an attempt to identify significant virulence factors. Electron microscopy of thin sections of the organisms showed strain W50 to possess a 3-4-fold thicker layer of material external to the outer membrane. No significant differences between the strains were found with respect to collagen- or hyaluronic acid-breakdown activities at assay pH 7.5. However, cultures of strain W50 had over 3-fold more trypsin-like activity (P < 0.01) than the avirulent variant. These results, when taken with other data, suggest that a thick external layer on the cell surface together with high trypsin-like activity might be important virulence factors of B. gingivalis.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||FEMS Microbiology Letters|
|Publication status||Published - May 1989|
- Bacteroides gingivalis