Infection and Immunity
American Society for Microbiology
Novel molecular tools and genetic methods were developed to isolate genomic fragments of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that may be associated with virulence. We sought to restore virulence, a characteristic of M. tuberculosis that is correlated with growth rate in mouse spleen and lung tissue, to the avirulent strain H37Ra by complementation. A representative library of the virulent M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv was constructed and transformed into H37Ra. Enrichment for individual faster-growing recombinants was achieved by passage of pools of H37Ra transformants harboring the H37Rv library through mice. A molecular strategy was devised to isolate and clone the H37Rv genomic DNA fragment ivg, which conferred a more rapid in vivo growth rate to H37Ra.