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Very Early Blood Diffusion of the Active Lethal and Edema Factors of Bacillus anthracis After Intranasal Infection

Abstract : Background Lethal and edema toxins are critical virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis. Few data are available on their presence in the early stage of intranasal infection. Methods To investigate the diffusion of edema factor (EF) and lethal factor (LF), we use sensitive quantitative methods to measure their enzymatic activities in mice intranasally challenged with a wild-type B anthracis strain or with an isogenic mutant deficient for the protective antigen. Results One hour after mouse challenge, although only 7% of mice presented bacteremia, LF and EF were detected in the blood of 100% and 42% of mice, respectively. Protective antigen facilitated the diffusion of LF and EF into the blood compartment. Toxins played a significant role in the systemic dissemination of B anthracis in the blood, spleen, and liver. A mouse model of intoxination further confirmed that LT and ET could diffuse rapidly in the circulation, independently of bacteria. Conclusions In this inhalational model, toxins have disseminated rapidly in the blood, playing a significant and novel role in the early systemic diffusion of bacteria, demonstrating that they may represent a very early target for the diagnosis and the treatment of anthrax.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:57:21 PM
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Clémence Rougeaux, François Becher, Pierre Goossens, Jean-Nicolas Tournier. Very Early Blood Diffusion of the Active Lethal and Edema Factors of Bacillus anthracis After Intranasal Infection. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020, 221 (4), pp.660-667. ⟨10.1093/infdis/jiz497⟩. ⟨pasteur-03293185⟩

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