1887

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the S-layer proteins (SLPs) of the hypervirulent PCR ribotype 027 and compare them with those of PCR ribotype 001 and other PCR ribotypes involved in infection and outbreaks, by molecular analysis and immunological assays. It has been demonstrated previously that PCR ribotype 027 SlpA is conserved in strains belonging to this PCR ribotype and that it is a new variant, showing 88 % identity with SlpA of PCR ribotype 001. As the low-molecular-weight (LMW) SLPs of are immunodominant antigens, attention was focused on this region of the genome. Sequencing of strains of different PCR ribotypes (001, 012, 014, 017, 027 and 078) showed that SlpA was conserved among strains belonging to the same PCR ribotype. Comparison of the LMW SLP region among these strains identified ten regions with sequence identity between PCR ribotypes 027 and 001, and low conservation with the other PCR ribotypes. In particular, two of these regions corresponded to areas predicted to be surface exposed. Three specific peptides, including those of the two surface-exposed regions, were recognized by human sera against PCR ribotypes 027 and 001 and by a rabbit polyclonal serum against the SLPs of PCR ribotype 027. In contrast, these peptides were not recognized by a polyclonal serum against the SLPs of PCR ribotype 012 used as a control. These results confirm the antigenic role of the LMW SLP and suggest that it may have a role in evasion of the host immune response.

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2011-08-01
2019-10-21
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