DNA was harvested from the cells and the samples where the presence of Rickettsia was detected were further treated with lab cultured uninfected cells which served as host cells necessary for the growth of the Rickettsia. Based on the base pairs of the resulting samples they were able to determine whether a wild type of R. prowazekii or a pld mutant was produced. The Rickettsia Δpld mutant was finally tested for virulence in guinea pigs (Driskell et al., 2009).
The results of the study were able to demonstrate that the wild type virulent strain (Madrid E) and the mutant (Δpld) were influenced by different genetic mutations. In terms of virulence, the wild type Madrid E strain was found to have a higher level of virulence compared to the Δpld mutant based on body weight loss in the guinea pigs after they were infected with both strains (Driskell et al., 2009). Moreover, the animals that were infected with the wild type strain were unable to gain any further weight beyond the 5 day after the inoculation of the strain while the ones infected with the Δpld strain did not display such signs and continued to gain weight normally (Driskell et al., 2009).
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