- UNIV CHICAGO PRESS
We analyzed the in vivo dynamics of peritoneal exudate cells (PECs) in mice injected with group A streptococcus (GAS). A live low-virulence strain, as well as heat-killed low- and high-virulence strains, significantly increased the number of PECs (primarily neutrophils), whereas a live high-virulence strain did not. When coinjected with thioglycollate, the live high-virulence strain, as well as most other GAS strains, suppressed the ability of thioglycollate to induce neutrophil exudation. This suppression was due to a cytocidal effect of GAS on exuded neutrophils rather than an inhibition of neutrophil migration. In addition, GAS enhanced the apoptosis of neutrophils. These cytocidal effects were significantly reduced by the deletion of functional streptolysin S from GAS. Our findings suggest that, in addition to the production of antiphagocytic factors and survival inside phagocytes, GAS uses a more aggressive method-the elimination of neutrophils-to evade the host's innate immune system.
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