Contribution of nuclease to the pathogenesis of Aeromonas hydrophila.

PMID 26039879


Aeromonas hydrophila is a gram-negative bacterium that is widely distributed in aquatic environments and can cause septicemia in both fish and humans. However, the underlying mechanisms leading to severe infection are not well understood. In this study, an A. hydrophila nuclease (ahn) deletion mutant was constructed to investigate its contribution to pathogenesis. This mutant did not differ from the wild-type strain in terms of its growth or hemolytic phenotype. However, the ahn-deficient mutant was more susceptible to being killed by fish macrophages and mouse blood in vitro. Furthermore, evidence obtained using both fish and murine infection models strongly indicated that the inactivation of Ahn impaired the ability of A. hydrophila to evade innate immune clearance in vivo. More importantly, the virulence of the mutant was attenuated in both fish and mice, with reductions in dissemination capacities and mortality rates. These findings implicate Ahn in A. hydrophila virulence, with important functions in evading innate immune defenses.