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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2008 Jan;24(1):134-41. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Role of the virulence plasmid pR99 and the metalloprotease Vvp in resistance of Vibrio vulnificus serovar E to eel innate immunity.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Ecology, University of Valencia, Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.

Abstract

Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 serovar E (VSE) is a bacterial pathogen that produces a haemorrhagic septicaemia called vibriosis in eels. Its ability to grow in blood is conferred by a recently described virulence plasmid [Lee CT, Amaro C, Wu KM, Valiente E, Chang YF, Tsai SF, et al. A common virulence plasmid in biotype 2 Vibrio vulnificus and its dissemination aided by a conjugal plasmid. Journal of Bacteriology, submitted for publication.]. In this study, we analyzed the role of this plasmid together with the role played by the metalloprotease (Vvp) in the interaction between bacteria and eel innate immunity. To this end, we compared and statistically analyzed the differences in resistance to serum and mucus factors (complement, selected antimicrobial peptides, transferrin and lysozyme) and also to phagocytosis/opsonophagocytosis between one VSE strain and its derivatives: a plasmid-cured strain and a vvp-deficient mutant. The wild-type and the metalloprotease-deficient strains were resistant to both the bactericidal action of fresh serum and the phagocytosis and opsonophagocytosis by eel phagocytes, confirming that Vvp is not involved in resistance to eel innate immunity. In contrast, the cured strain was sensitive to both the bactericidal action of eel serum activated by the alternative pathway and phagocytosis/opsonophagocytosis. Since no plasmid-encoded ORF, with homology to known genes, is related to the resistance to innate immunity [Lee CT, Amaro C, Wu KM, Valiente E, Chang YF, Tsai SF, et al. A common virulence plasmid in biotype 2 Vibrio vulnificus and its dissemination aided by a conjugal plasmid. Journal of Bacteriology, submitted for publication.], this function could be codified by one or more new genes. Further studies are underway to characterize the plasmid-encoded system responsible for V. vulnificus resistance to the innate immune system of eels.

PMID:
18053741
DOI:
10.1016/j.fsi.2007.10.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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