Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Microbiol. 2012 Mar;194(3):167-76. doi: 10.1007/s00203-011-0741-6. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

The genetic analysis of the flp locus of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae.

Author information

Division of Animal Infectious Disease, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, People's Republic of China.


Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, one of the most important porcine respiratory pathogens, exhibits tight adherence to cell surfaces. The Flp pilus, which is assembled by the proteins encoded by the flp (fimbrial low-molecular-weight protein) operon, may play an important role in the bacterial adherence. In this study, the flp operons of twelve A. pleuropneumoniae serotype reference strains were sequenced and analyzed. The phenotypic diversity of fimbriae was observed using transmission electron microscopy, and the adherence ability was tested against a porcine lung epithelial cell line. The complete flp operon was identified in the reference strains of serotypes 1, 4, 5, 7, 12, and 13, consisting of 14 genes (flp1-flp2-tadV-rcpCAB-tadZABCDEFG). Fimbriae were observed protruding from the bacterial cell surfaces of these strains. In contrast, the flp promoter was absent in serotypes 2, 3, 6, 9, and 11, and the flp1 gene was truncated in serotypes 10 and 15. No pilus was observed on the surfaces of these strains. The piliated strains have higher efficiency of adhesion than the pilus-negative strains. Our data demonstrated that the Flp pili are involved in A. pleuropneumoniae adherence. The genetic diversity of the flp operons among different strains may contribute, at least in part, to the variation in virulence of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center