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Cloning and mutagenesis of a serotype-specific DNA region involved in encapsulation and virulence of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 5a: concomitant expression of serotype 5a and 1 capsular polysaccharides in recombinant A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1



Cloning and mutagenesis of a serotype-specific DNA region involved in encapsulation and virulence of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 5a: concomitant expression of serotype 5a and 1 capsular polysaccharides in recombinant A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1



Infection and Immunity 66(7): 3326-3336



A DNA region involved in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 5 capsular polysaccharide (CP) biosynthesis was identified and characterized by using a probe specific for the cpxD gene involved in CP export. The adjacent serotype 5-specific CP biosynthesis region was cloned from a 5.8-kb BamHI fragment and an 8.0-kb EcoRI fragment of strain J45 genomic DNA. DNA sequence analysis demonstrated that this region contained four complete open reading frames, cps5A, cps5B, cps5C, and cps5D. Cps5A, Cps5B, and Cps5C showed low homology with several bacterial glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide or CP. However, Cps5D had high homology with KdsA proteins (3-deoxy-D-manno-2-octulosonic acid 8-phosphate synthetase) from other gram-negative bacteria. The G+C content of cps5ABC was substantially lower (28%) than that of cps5D and the rest of the A. pleuropneumoniae chromosome (42%). A 2.1-kb deletion spanning the cloned cps5ABC open reading frames was constructed and transferred into the J45 chromosome by homologous recombination with a kanamycin resistance cassette to produce mutant J45-100. Multiplex PCR confirmed the deletion in this region of J45-100 DNA. J45-100 did not produce intracellular or extracellular CP, indicating that cps5A, cps5B, and/or cps5C were involved in CP biosynthesis. However, biosynthesis of the Apx toxins, lipopolysaccharide, and membrane proteins was unaffected by the mutation. Besides lack of CP biosynthesis, and in contrast to J45, J45-100 grew faster, was sensitive to killing in precolostral calf serum, and was avirulent in pigs at an intratracheal challenge dose three times the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of strain J45. At six times the J45 LD50, J45-100 caused mild to moderate lung lesions but not death. Electroporation of cps5ABC into A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 strain 4074 generated strain 4074(pJMLCPS5), which expressed both serotype 1 and serotype 5 CP. However, serotype 1 capsule expression was diminished in 4074(pJMLCPS5) in comparison to 4074. The recombinant strain produced significantly less total CP (serotypes 1 and 5 CP combined) in log phase (P = 0.0012) but significantly more total CP in late stationary phase than 4074 (P < 0.0001). In addition, strain 4074(pJMLCPS5) caused less mortality and bacteremia in pigs and mice following respiratory challenge than strain 4074, indicating that virulence was affected by diminished capsule production. These results emphasize the importance of CP in the serum resistance and virulence of A. pleuropneumoniae.

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Accession: 003069746

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PMID: 9632602


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