Attenuation of Virulence by Disruption of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis erp Gene

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The virulence of the mycobacteria that cause tuberculosis depends on their ability to multiply in mammalian hosts.Disruption of the bacterial erp gene, which encodes the exported repetitive protein, impaired multiplication of M. tuberculosis and M. bovis Bacille Calmette-Guerin in cultured macrophages and mice. Reintroduction of erp into the mutants restored their ability to multiply. These results indicate that erp contributes to the virulence of M. tuberculosis.

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