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J Fish Dis. 2011 Nov;34(11):831-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2761.2011.01300.x.

Aerococcus viridans expression of Cpn60 is associated with virulence during infection of the American lobster, Homarus americanus Milne Edwards.

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AVC Lobster Science Centre, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada.


The Gram-positive bacterium Aerococcus viridans var. homari is a well-documented causative agent of the lethal systemic disease gaffkemia in both the American lobster, Homarus americanus, and the European lobster, Homarus gammarus. Previous phenotypic characterization has been unsuccessful at differentiating avirulent from virulent strains without performing lethal animal infection trials. Recent genetic characterization of A. viridans strains through 16S rRNA sequencing and random amplification of polymorphic DNA fingerprinting has revealed the presence of two subtypes. However, subtype 1 contains both virulent and avirulent strains which are genetically identical. The purpose of this study was to determine the proteomic mediators of virulence in A. viridans. Quantitative proteomic mapping of these two strains has revealed 29 differentially expressed protein spots, seven of which are only expressed in the virulent strain and could act as virulence factors. One protein, chaperonin 60 (Cpn60), is uniquely expressed in the virulent strain and has been shown to act as a virulence factor in many other bacteria. The proteomic mapping strategy employed in this study is the first to show phenotypic differences between virulent and avirulent strains. Cpn60 expression represents a potentially useful tool for identifying the virulent strains of A. viridans in epidemiological studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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