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Microb Pathog. 2000 Jul;29(1):39-51.

Identification of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae virulence genes using signature-tagged mutagenesis in a swine infection model.

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Animal Health Discovery Research, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI 49001, USA.


Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is a significant respiratory pathogen of swine causing a severe and often fatal fibrinous hemorrhagic bronchopneumonia with significant economic losses resulting from chronic as well as acute infections. This study describes the application of a signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) system to identify in vivo critical genes of A. pleuropneumoniae. Twenty pools representing over 800 A. pleuropneumoniae mutants were screened in a natural-host porcine infection model and presumptive attenuated mutants were selected. The identity of the disrupted gene in each mutant was determined using an inverse PCR approach to amplify DNA sequences adjacent to the transposon insertion, followed by sequencing of the PCR product and comparison to bacterial databases. In vitro and in vivo competitive indices were determined for each unique mutant, and a total of 20 unique, attenuating gene disruptions were identified including insertions into homologues of genes involved in biosynthesis, virulence determinants, regulation, translation and unknown functions. Three of the genes required for virulence of A. pleuropneumoniae in this study were also identified in a previous STM study of Pasteurella multocida. Seven of the STM-derived mutants were also evaluated for their potential as live vaccine strains and provided good protection against homologous challenge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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