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The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria

IV. The role played by artificial enzyme “cocktails” and tissue enzymes in bacteriolysis

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Acid hydrolases of human blood leukocytes are highly lytic toStaph. albus, Staph. aureus, andStrep. faecalis. On the other hand, group A and viridans streptococci, encapsulated staphylococci, a variety of Gramnegative rods, andMyc. smegmatis are highly resistant to lysis by leukocyte extracts. The lytic effect of the leukocyte extracts can be mimicked by an artificial “cocktail” which contains crude trypsin, lysolecithin, phospholipase C, and lysozyme. This enzyme mixture is lytic to certain Gram-negative bacteria and encapsulated staphylococci which are resistant to lysis by leukocyte enzymes. Both the leukocyte lysates and the artificial cocktail are more lytic to bacteria harvested from the logarithmic phase of growth than to older cells.Staph. albus andStrep. faecalis, which are not lysed to any appreciable extent by extracts of rabbit intestines, lymphocytes, and platelets, undergo extensive lysis upon the addition of lysozyme, indicating that these cells contain preparatory prolytic agents which are activated by lysozyme. On the other hand, the lysis ofStaph. aureus by extracts of all these cells is less dependent upon lysozyme, indicating that other non-lysozyme-dependent lytic factors are involved in the lysis of this microorganism by certain tissue extracts. It is suggested that the resistance to lysis by leukocyte enzymes of bacterial cell-wall constituents may contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic sequellae, and that artificial enzyme cocktails be used for in vivo treatment of certain chronic inflammatory processes induced by bacteria.

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This investigation was supported in part by grants from the Central Research Fund of the Hebrew University and from the Joint Research Fund of the Hebrew University Hadassah School of Dental Medicine founded by the Alpha Omega Fraternity and the Hadassah Medical Organization, by grants from the Chief Scientist, the Ministry of Health, Government of Israel and the Max Bogen Research Fund obtained through the Friends of the Hebrew University in the United States.

Part of this work was performed at the Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, Middlesex, England, under a scholarship from the Nuffield Foundation, London.

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Ginsburg, I., Neeman, N., Duchan, Z. et al. The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria. Inflammation 1, 41–56 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00918058

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  • Lysozyme
  • Logarithmic Phase
  • Enzyme Mixture
  • Chronic Inflammatory Process
  • Enzyme Cocktail