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J Med Microbiol. 2007 Dec;56(Pt 12):1589-94.

Comparison of lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis genes of Campylobacter jejuni strains with varying abilities to colonize the chicken gut and to invade Caco-2 cells.

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Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses, Jena, Naumburger Str. 96a, 07743 Jena, Germany.


Campylobacter jejuni strains develop a high variability of lipooligosaccharide (LOS) structures on the cell surface based on variations in the genetic content of the LOS biosynthesis locus. While the importance of these variations for ganglioside mimicry as a critical factor in the triggering of Guillain-Barré syndrome has already been shown, little work has been done on the investigation of LOS structures and their function in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal disease. In this study, the presence of several LOS genes in 40 C. jejuni strains with different abilities to colonize the chicken gut and to invade Caco-2 cells was investigated by PCR. Two genes, cgtB and wlaN, encoding putative beta-1,3-galactosyltransferases were detected in most strongly invasive strains and rarely in non-invasive strains. A homopolymeric tract within the wlaN gene resulted in an intact gene product only in strongly invasive strains. The specific function of these genes during LOS biosynthesis is still unknown. cgtB and wlaN gene products are suggested to be involved in development of the colonization and invasion ability of C. jejuni. After a classification of the complete LOS loci, an association between a particular LOS class and colonization and invasion ability of the C. jejuni strain could not be detected. Lack of the pglB gene involved in protein glycosylation in one strain could be responsible for the weak colonization and invasion ability of this strain. There is some evidence that different genetic characteristics were responsible for strong or weak colonization and the invasion ability of C. jejuni strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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