Vincent A. Fischetti

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Enterococcus faecalis, a ubiquitous member of mammalian gastrointestinal flora, is a leading cause of nosocomial infections and a growing public health concern. The enterococci responsible for these infections are often resistant to multiple antibiotics and have become notorious for their ability to acquire and disseminate antibiotic resistances. In the(More)
Nasopharyngeal carriage is the major reservoir for Streptococcus pneumoniae in the community. Although eliminating this reservoir would greatly reduce disease occurrence, no suitable intervention has been available for this purpose. We show here that seconds after contact, a purified pneumococcal bacteriophage lytic enzyme (Pal) is able to kill 15 common(More)
Lysins are highly evolved enzymes produced by bacteriophage (phage for short) to digest the bacterial cell wall for phage progeny release. In Gram-positive bacteria, small quantities of purified recombinant lysin added externally results in immediate lysis causing log-fold death of the target bacterium. Lysins have been used successfully in a variety of(More)
Bacteriophage lytic enzymes quickly destroy the cell wall of the host bacterium to release progeny phage. Because such lytic enzymes specifically kill the species in which they were produced, they may represent an effective way to control pathogenic bacteria without disturbing normal microflora. In this report, we studied a murein hydrolase from the(More)
M protein is a major virulence determinant for the group A streptococcus by virtue of its ability to allow the organism to resist phagocytosis. Common in eucaryotes, the fibrillar coiled-coil design for the M molecule may prove to be a common motif for surface proteins in gram-positive organisms. This type of structure offers the organism several distinct(More)
The dormant and durable spore form of Bacillus anthracis is an ideal biological weapon of mass destruction. Once inhaled, spores are transported by alveolar macrophages to lymph nodes surrounding the lungs, where they germinate; subsequent vegetative expansion causes an overwhelming flood of bacteria and toxins into the blood, killing up to 99% of untreated(More)
Bacteriophage lytic enzymes, or lysins, are highly evolved molecules produced by bacterial viruses (bacteriophage) to digest the bacterial cell wall for bacteriophage progeny release. Small quantities of purified recombinant lysin added to gram-positive bacteria causes immediate lysis resulting in log-fold death of the target bacterium. Lysins have now been(More)
The plasmin(ogen) binding property of group A streptococci is incriminated in tissue invasion processes. We have characterized a novel 45-kDa protein displaying strong plasmin(ogen) binding activity from the streptococcal surface. Based on its biochemical properties, we confirmed the identity of this protein as alpha-enolase, a key glycolytic enzyme.(More)
The surface of streptococci presents an array of different proteins, each designed to perform a specific function. In an attempt to understand the early events in group A streptococci infection, we have identified and purified a major surface protein from group A type 6 streptococci that has both an enzymatic activity and a binding capacity for a variety of(More)
Endolysins (or lysins) are highly evolved enzymes produced by bacteriophage (phage for short) to digest the bacterial cell wall for phage progeny release. In Gram-positive bacteria, small quantities of purified recombinant lysin added externally results in immediate lysis causing log-fold death of the target bacterium. Lysins have been used successfully in(More)