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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of SsPI-1 Deletion on Streptococcus suis Virulence

by Yan Zhao 1,†, Gang Li 1,†, Xin-Yue Yao 2,†, Shu-Guang Lu 1, Jing Wang 1, Xiao-Dong Shen 3,* and Ming Li 1,*
Department of Microbiology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Army Medical University (Third Military Medical University), Key Laboratory of Microbial Engineering under the Educational Committee in Chongqing, Chongqing 400038, China
Jinling Hospital Research Institute of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Nanjing University, School of Medicine, Nanjing 210002, China
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Army Medical University (Third Military Medical University), Chongqing 400038, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this study.
Pathogens 2019, 8(4), 287;
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 4 December 2019 / Published: 6 December 2019
(1) Background: Streptococcus suis is an important zoonotic pathogen that infects pigs and can occasionally cause life-threatening systemic infections in humans. Two large-scale outbreaks of streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome in China suggest that the pathogenicity of S. suis has been changing in recent years. Genetic analysis revealed the presence of a chromosomal pathogenicity island (PAI) designated SsPI-1 in Chinese epidemic S. suis strains. The purpose of this study is to define the role of SsPI-1 in the virulence of S. suis. (2) Methods: A SsPI-1 deletion mutant was compared to the wild-type strain regarding the ability to attach to epithelial cells, to cause host disease and mortality, and to stimulate host immune response in experimental infection of piglets. (3) Results: Deletion of SsPI-1 significantly reduces adherence of S. suis to epithelial cells and abolishes the lethality of the wild-type strain in piglets. The SsPI-1 mutant causes no significant pathological lesions and exhibits an impaired ability to induce proinflammatory cytokine production. (4) Conclusions: Deletion of the SsPI-1 PAI attenuates the virulence of this pathogen. We conclude that SsPI-1 is a critical contributor to the evolution of virulence in epidemic S. suis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Streptococcus suis; pathogenicity island; deletion; virulence Streptococcus suis; pathogenicity island; deletion; virulence
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Zhao, Y.; Li, G.; Yao, X.-Y.; Lu, S.-G.; Wang, J.; Shen, X.-D.; Li, M. The Impact of SsPI-1 Deletion on Streptococcus suis Virulence. Pathogens 2019, 8, 287.

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