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PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19631. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019631. Epub 2011 May 17.

Genomic characterization of Haemophilus parasuis SH0165, a highly virulent strain of serovar 5 prevalent in China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Division of Animal Infectious Disease, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.


Haemophilus parasuis can be either a commensal bacterium of the porcine respiratory tract or an opportunistic pathogen causing Glässer's disease, a severe systemic disease that has led to significant economical losses in the pig industry worldwide. We determined the complete genomic sequence of H. parasuis SH0165, a highly virulent strain of serovar 5, which was isolated from a hog pen in North China. The single circular chromosome was 2,269,156 base pairs in length and contained 2,031 protein-coding genes. Together with the full spectrum of genes detected by the analysis of metabolic pathways, we confirmed that H. parasuis generates ATP via both fermentation and respiration, and possesses an intact TCA cycle for anabolism. In addition to possessing the complete pathway essential for the biosynthesis of heme, this pathogen was also found to be well-equipped with different iron acquisition systems, such as the TonB system and ABC-type transport complexes, to overcome iron limitation during infection and persistence. We identified a number of genes encoding potential virulence factors, such as type IV fimbriae and surface polysaccharides. Analysis of the genome confirmed that H. parasuis is naturally competent, as genes related to DNA uptake are present. A nine-mer DNA uptake signal sequence (ACAAGCGGT), identical to that found in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Mannheimia haemolytica, followed by similar downstream motifs, was identified in the SH0165 genome. Genomic and phylogenetic comparisons with other Pasteurellaceae species further indicated that H. parasuis was closely related to another swine pathogenic bacteria A. pleuropneumoniae. The comprehensive genetic analysis presented here provides a foundation for future research on the metabolism, natural competence and virulence of H. parasuis.

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