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Can J Vet Res. 2011 Jul;75(3):183-90.

Cloning, expression, and characterization of TonB2 from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and potential use as an antigenic vaccine candidate and diagnostic marker.

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Division of Animal Infectious Disease, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei 430070, China.


In this study the tonB2 gene was cloned from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae JL01 (serovar 1) and expressed as a glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion protein in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). The GST fusion protein was recognized by antibodies in serum positive for A. pleuropneumoniae by Western blot analysis. Purified soluble GST-TonB2 was assessed for its ability to protect BALB/c mice against A. pleuropneumoniae infection. Mice were vaccinated with GST-TonB2 subcutaneously and challenged intraperitoneally with either ~4.0 × 10(5) colony-forming units (CFU) or ~1.0 × 10(6) CFU of A. pleuropneumoniae 4074. They were examined daily for 7 d after challenge. The survival rate of the TonB2-vaccinated mice was significant higher than that of the mice given recombinant GST or adjuvant alone. These results demonstrate that A. pleuropneumoniae TonB2 is immunogenic in mice and should be further assessed as a potential candidate for a vaccine against A. pleuropneumoniae infection. In addition, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on the GST-TonB2 recombinant protein was developed. Compared with the ApxIVA ELISA, the TonB2 ELISA provided earlier detection of antibodies in pigs at various times after vaccination with A. pleuropneumoniae live attenuated vaccine. When compared with an indirect hemagglutination test, the sensitivity and specificity of the TonB2 ELISA were 95% and 88%, respectively. The TonB2 ELISA provides an alternative method for rapid serologic diagnosis of A. pleuropneumoniae infection through antibody screening, which would be especially useful when the infection status or serovar is unknown.

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