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Vaccine. 2010 Mar 16;28(13):2490-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.01.041. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: association of Spa-type with serotype and role in protective immunity.

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  • 1Center for Veterinary Biologics, Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


A collection of swine, fish, and cetacean Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains representing 16 serotypes was analyzed for possession of the three currently recognized surface protective antigen (spa)-types: spaA, spaB, and spaC. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and Western blotting with a SpaA-specific monoclonal antibody demonstrated that spa-type is not confined to specific serotype groups. In particular, the spa-type of strains of aquatic origin was more variable than those of terrestrial origin, and possessed the distinct ability to express more than one spa. In a cross-protection study, mice immunized with an E. rhusiopathiae serotype 2 SpaA-type strain and challenged with various E. rhusiopathiae isolates were completely protected against strains exhibiting a single homologous spa, but variably protected against strains possessing a heterologous spa or those harboring more than one spa-type.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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