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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of the K54 and O4 specific antigen has opposite effects on the bactericidal activity of squalamine against an extraintestinal isolate of Escherichia coli.

Squalamine is a novel cationic steroid that possesses potent, broad spectrum, antimicrobial activity. Recent data suggests that squalamine or related compounds may be present and important in host resistance to infection in the urinary tract. Therefore, the role of the K54 capsule and the O4 specific antigen moiety of the lipopolysaccharide in protecting an extraintestinal isolate of Escherichia coli against the bactericidal activity of this novel antimicrobial compound was studied. The O4 specific antigen was important for protection against squalamine. Surprisingly, in contrast, the presence of the K54 antigen enhanced the bactericidal activity of squalamine. This is the first example, to our knowledge, in which an established virulence trait, the K54 capsule, may be detrimental to an infecting pathogen under certain circumstances.[1]


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