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Infect Immun. 2009 May;77(5):2136-46. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01379-08. Epub 2009 Feb 23.

Contribution of Bordetella bronchiseptica filamentous hemagglutinin and pertactin to respiratory disease in swine.

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Respiratory Diseases of Livestock Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, ARS, USDA, 2300 Dayton Ave., Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Bordetella bronchiseptica is pervasive in swine populations and plays multiple roles in respiratory disease. Most studies addressing virulence factors of B. bronchiseptica are based on isolates derived from hosts other than pigs. Two well-studied virulence factors implicated in the adhesion process are filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) and pertactin (PRN). We hypothesized that both FHA and PRN would serve critical roles in the adhesion process and be necessary for colonization of the swine respiratory tract. To investigate the role of FHA and PRN in Bordetella pathogenesis in swine, we constructed mutants containing an in-frame deletion of the FHA or the PRN structural gene in a virulent B. bronchiseptica swine isolate. Both mutants were compared to the wild-type swine isolate for their ability to colonize and cause disease in swine. Colonization of the FHA mutant was lower than that of the wild type at all respiratory tract sites and time points examined and caused limited to no disease. In contrast, the PRN mutant caused similar disease severity relative to the wild type; however, colonization of the PRN mutant was reduced relative to the wild type during early and late infection and induced higher anti-Bordetella antibody titers. Together, our results indicate that despite inducing different pathologies and antibody responses, both FHA and PRN are necessary for optimal colonization of the swine respiratory tract.

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