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Vet Microbiol. 2013 May 3;163(3-4):290-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.12.029. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

AvxA, a composite serine-protease-RTX toxin of Avibacterium paragallinarum.

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Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Avibacterium paragallinarum, the etiological agent of infectious coryza in chicken, was found to encode a bivalent serine-protease - RTX-porin toxin named AvxA. This toxin is encoded on a classical RTX operon structure with the activator gene avxC, the structural serin-protease-RTX toxin gene avxA, and the genes for a proper type I secretion system avxBD. AvxA is activated by the product of the avxC gene, secreted by the avxBD specified type I secretion system and proteolytically processed leaving a 95 kDa RTX moiety that is found in culture supernatants of A. paragallinarum serovars A, B and C. The RTX moiety of AvxA (AvxA-RTX) is cytotoxic against the avian macrophage like cell line HD11 but not against bovine macrophage cell line BoMac. Purified IgG from hyper-immune rabbit anti-AvxA-RTX serum made by immunization with recombinant AvxA-RTX from a serotype A strain fully neutralizes the cytotoxic activity of recombinant active AvxA-RTX and of A. paragallinarum serotypes A, B and C. This indicates that AvxA is a common major virulence attribute of all A. paragallinarum serotypes.

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