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A role for lipopolysaccharide in turkey tracheal colonization by Bordetella avium as demonstrated in vivo and in vitro.

ABSTRACT: We isolated two insertion mutants of Bordetella avium that exhibited a peculiar clumped-growth phenotype and found them to be attenuated in turkey tracheal colonization. The mutants contained transposon insertions in homologues of the wlbA and wlbL genes of Bordetella pertussis. The wlb genetic locus of B. pertussis has been previously described as containing 12 genes involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis. Polyacrylamide gel analysis of LPS from B. avium wlbA and wlbL insertion mutants confirmed an alteration in the LPS profile. Subsequent cloning and complementation of the wlbA and wlbL mutants in trans with a recombinant plasmid containing the homologous wlb locus from B. avium eliminated the clumped-growth phenotype and restored the LPS profile to that of wild-type B. avium. Also, a parental level of tracheal colonization was restored to both mutants by the recombinant plasmid. Interestingly, complementation of the wlbA and wlbL mutants with a recombinant plasmid containing the heterologous wlb locus from B. pertussis, B. bronchiseptica, or Bordetella parapertussis eliminated the clumped-growth phenotype and resulted in a change in the LPS profile, although not to that of wild-type B. avium. The mutants also acquired resistance to a newly identified B. avium-specific bacteriophage, Ba1. Complementation of both wlbA and wlbL mutants with the homologous wlb locus of B. avium, but not the heterologous B. pertussis locus, restored sensitivity to Ba1. Complementation of the wlbL mutant, but not the wlbA mutant, with the heterologous wlb locus of Bordetella bronchiseptica or B. parapertussis restored partial sensitivity to Ba1. Comparisons of the LPS profile and phage sensitivity of the mutants upon complementation by wlb loci from the heterologous species and by B. avium suggested that phage sensitivity required the presence of O-antigen. At the mechanistic level, both mutants showed a dramatic decrease in serum resistance and a decrease in binding to turkey tracheal rings in vitro. In the case of serum resistance, complementation of both mutants with the homologous wlb locus of B. avium restored serum resistance to wild-type levels. However, in the case of epithelial cell binding, only complementation of the wlbA mutant completely restored binding to wild-type levels (binding was only partially restored in the wlbL mutant). This is the first characterization of LPS mutants of B. avium at the genetic level and the first report of virulence changes by both in vivo and in vitro measurements.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3121563 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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