Increase of capsular material thickness following in vivo growth of virulent Streptococcus suis serotype 2 strains

Sylvain Quessy, J. Daniel Dubreuil, Mario Jacques, François Malouin, Robert Higgins

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25 Scopus citations


Protein profile and capsular material thickness of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 strains were compared after in vitro and in vivo growth. Three virulent and one avirulent strains were used. These strains were grown in Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) broth, cells were collected by centrifugation, resuspended in a sterile saline solution and injected in diffusion chambers. The devices were then inserted in rat abdomens for 17 h. In vitro grown strains were also inoculated into fresh BHI broth and cultivated for 17 h at 37°C. In vivo as well as in vitro grown bacteria were harvested by centrifugation, processed in a French pressure cell, treated with lysozyme and centrifuged to collect cell proteins for SDS-PAGE analysis. Transmission electron microscopy using polycationic ferritin labeling to stabilize capsular material was also carried out. No significant modification was noted in the protein profile for any strain after in vivo growth except for a 39 kDa protein of one virulent strain. On the other hand, an increase in thickness of capsular material was noted for the three in vivo grown virulent strains while no change was noted for the avirulent strain. This increase in capsular material thickness of virulent strains was accompanied by an increased resistance to killing by pig polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The capacity to produce more capsular material in vivo seems to be an attribute of some virulent S. suis serotype 2 strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Capsule
  • Diffusion chambers
  • in vivo growth
  • Streptococcus suis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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