Construction and characterisation of Bordetella pertussis mutants lacking the vir-regulated P.69 outer membrane protein

Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Molecular Microbiology, 1991, 5 (6), pp. 1393 - 1404
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The Bordetella pertussis P.69 protein is an immunogen with vaccine potential. The role of this protein in pathogenesis is unclear; it has been associated with the toxic adenylate cyclase and adhesion to eukaryotic cells. For further analysis of the role of P.69 in the biology of B. pertussis, we have constructed strains which specifically lack P.69. The cloned P.69 (prn) gene of B. pertussis was insertionally inactivated with a kanamycin-resistance cassette. This inactivated gene was used to construct P.69- mutants of B. pertussis by allelic exchange using plasmid pRTP1. B. pertussis P.69- strains produced normal levles of other vir-regulated factors, including adenylate cyclase. The serotype of B. pertussis, determined by Eldering and Preston typing sera and monoclonal antibodies, was also unaffected by the presence or absence of P.69. The ability of a prn mutant to adhere to and invade HEp2 cells was not significantly different from that of its parent strain. A strain containing a mutation in fhaB was significantly less adhesive and invasive than its parent, and a prn fhaB double mutant exhibited an even greater reduction in adhesiveness and invasiveness down to levels comparable with a Vir- strain. However, strains harbouring mutations in FHA and/or P.69 were able to colonize or multiply in the murine respiratory tract, although a Vir- strain was unable to survive and proliferate in the same infection model.
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