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    Haemophilus influenzae requires heme for aerobic growth and possesses multiple mechanisms to obtain this essential nutrient. An insertional mutation in tonB was constructed and the impact of the mutation on virulence and fitness in a chinchilla model of otitis media was determined. The tonB insertion mutant strain was significantly impacted in both virulence and fitness as compared to the wildtype strain in this model. The tonB gene of H. influenzae is required for the establishment and maintenance of middle ear infection in this chinchilla model of bacterial disease.


    Daniel J Morton, Randy J Hempel, Thomas W Seale, Paul W Whitby, Terrence L Stull. A functional tonB gene is required for both virulence and competitive fitness in a chinchilla model of Haemophilus influenzae otitis media. BMC research notes. 2012 Jun 25;5:327

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    PMID: 22731867

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