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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685

Abstract

PEREIRA, Rafaella Fabiana Carneiro et al. Analysis of potential virulence genes and competence to transformation in Haemophilus influenzae biotype aegyptius associated with Brazilian Purpuric Fever. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2021, vol.44, n.1, e20200029.  Epub Dec 21, 2020. ISSN 1678-4685.  https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-4685-gmb-2020-0029.

Brazilian Purpuric Fever (BPF) is a hemorrhagic pediatric illness caused by Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius (Hae), a bacterium that was formerly associated with self-limited purulent conjunctivitis. BPF is assumed to be eradicated. However, the virulence mechanisms inherent to Hae strains associated with BPF is still a mystery and deficient in studies. Here, we aim to analyze the role of the autotransporter genes related to adherence and colonization las, tabA1, and hadA genes through RT-qPCR expression profiling and knockout mutants. Relative quantification by real-time PCR after infection in human cells and infant rat model suggests that las was initially downregulated probably duo to immune evasion, tabA1, and hadA were overexpressed in general, suggesting an active role of TabA1 and HadA1 adhesins in Hae in vitro and in vivo. Transformation attempts were unsuccessful despite the use of multiple technical approaches and in silico analysis revealed that Hae lacks genes related to competence in Haemophilus, which could be part of the elucidation of the difficulty of genetically manipulating Hae strains.

Keywords : Haemophilus influenzae biotype aegyptius; Brazilian Purpuric Fever; virulence; qPCR; competence.

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