Infectivity of a glucan synthesis-defective mutant of Streptococcus gordonii (Challis) in a rat endocarditis model

Virginia D. Wells, Cindy L. Munro, Mark C. Sulavik, Don B. Clewell, Francis L. Macrina

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Streptococcus gordonii, a member of the human indigenous oral microflora, colonizes smooth tooth surfaces and contributes to dental plaque formation. Although it is not recognized as being a cariogenic pathogen, it may cause endocarditis following invasion of the bloodstream. Using allelic exchange mutagenesis, we have constructed a mutant of S. gordonii (Challis) which is defective in its single functional glucosyltransferase gene and, hence, is unable to synthesize glucan exopolymers from sucrose. When examined in a rat endocarditis model, the sucrose-grown mutant did not differ significantly from S. gordonii wild-type, suggesting that glucan polymers did not contribute to infectivity. This result was in striking contrast to that previously observed with a polymer-defective S. mutans mutant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-305
Number of pages5
JournalFEMS microbiology letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 15 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • Endocarditis
  • Glucosyltransferase
  • Streptococcus gordonii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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