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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1990 Jan 1;54(1-3):327-31.

Structure of the Bordetella pertussis gene coding for the serotype 3 fimbrial subunit.

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Laboratory of Bacteriology, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


Bordetella pertussis strains contain at least three distinct genes coding for fimbrial subunits, designated fim2, fim3, and fimX. The sequences of the fim2 and fimX genes have been published. Here we present the sequence of the fim3 gene. Proximal and distal to the fim3 gene, regions were observed that could function as rho-independent terminators, suggesting that the gene is not part of a larger operon. Comparison of the putative promoter regions of the fim2 and fim3 genes revealed a conserved region containing a stretch of approximately 13 C's. This region may be involved in fimbrial phase variation. A comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of the three fimbrial subunits revealed conserved, variable, and hypervariable regions. The hypervariable regions coincided with predicted antigenic determinants. Peptides derived from the conserved regions may be incorporated into a future pertussis vaccine to induce antibodies which confer protection against strains producing different fimbrial serotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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