Outer membranes were prepared by the Sarkosy1 method from 30 strains of and the closely related Taxon 13, which had been isolated from cattle. The patterns of the outer membrane proteins (OMPs) on SDS-PAGE were generally similar to one another, though the four major proteins (a-d) varied somewhat in molecular mass; these patterns allowed the strains to be arranged into 12 groups. Taxon 13 strains and typical strains were indistinguishable, both types being found within the same group. Mice were vaccinated with heat-killed bacteria of three strains and challenged with 10 LD50 of homologous and heterologous live bacteria, representing groups based on OMP patterns; the best protection was afforded by strain W674, which protected against nine of the 17 challenge strains; but there was no correlation between protection and PAGE pattern. Pre-vaccination and pre-challenge sera were used in immunoblotting to probe OMPs from protective and non-protective strains. All three vaccines produced antibody to proteins a and ; these proteins appeared to be common to all strains, varying in molecular mass but not in overall antigenic expression. The antibody response to the other two major OMPs appeared to be PAGE-group specific. There was no correlation between protection and the antigen pattern seen by immunoblotting.


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