Studies on the susceptibility of different culture morphotypes of Listeria monocytogenes to uptake and survival in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes.
Rowan, Neil J.
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This study demonstrated that atypical virulent filaments of Listeria monocytogenes (rough variant type II and designated FR for this study), isolated from clinical specimens or generated during exposure to pulsed-plasma gas discharge in liquids, were shown to be capable of survival when engulfed by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs). Factors shown to significantly influence the maximal respiratory burst response in PMNLs and survival of different internalized cell or filament forms of L. monocytogenes were bacterial strain, culture form, degree of opsonization (with and without the use of 10% serum) and composition of the bacterial growth media used before uptake by PMNLs. Opsonized regular-sized L. monocytogenes cells grown on blood agar (BA) elicited the greatest respiratory burst response and survived best in PMNLs. The filamentous (FR) and multiple cell chain (MCR) rough variants were significantly less susceptible to uptake and survival in PMNLs. Supplementation of tryptone soya agar with hemin resulted in significantly reduced chemiluminescence responses in phagocytosing PMNLs compared with the maximal levels observed from prior bacterial growth on BA or brain heart infusion agar that also contained a source of iron. The MCR variants secreting decreased levels of a peptidoglycan hydrolase CwhA protein exhibited the lowest percentage survival when internalized in PMNLs compared with wild-type smooth or FR culture variants as determined by the macrophage-killing assay.
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