Immunological characterization of a protective antigen of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: identification of the region responsible for protective immunity. (1/99)

The gene encoding a protective protein antigen of the gram-positive bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, an important veterinary pathogen responsible for erysipelas in swine and a variety of diseases in animals, was cloned and sequenced. The gene encodes a polypeptide of 597 amino acids plus a putative signal sequence of 29 amino acids, resulting in a mature protein with a molecular mass of 69,017 Da. Sequence analysis of the gene product revealed a C-terminal region composed of nine tandem repeats of 20 amino acids and a total sequence that is nearly identical to that of the 64-kDa cell surface protein (SpaA) of the bacterium. Because of this similarity, the protein was designated SpaA.1. In this study, we examined whether the SpaA.1 protein could induce protective antibodies and whether we could identify the region involved in protective immunity. Both the mature SpaA.1 protein and its C-terminal repeat region, but not the N-terminal segment, were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified as a histidine-tagged fusion recombinant protein. Rabbit antiserum raised against the mature SpaA.1 protein passively protected mice from lethal challenge with a virulent homologous strain, Fujisawa-SmR, suggesting that protection is mediated by humoral antibodies. To determine which domain of the SpaA.1 protein is responsible for the observed protection, mice were actively immunized with either the mature SpaA. 1 protein or the C-terminal repeat region and then challenged with Fujisawa-SmR. The result showed that mice immunized with the mature SpaA.1 protein, but not the C-terminal repeat region, were protected, suggesting that the protection-eliciting epitope(s) is located within the N-terminal two-thirds of the SpaA.1 molecule. This was confirmed by passive immunization experiments in which the protective activity of rabbit antiserum, raised against mature SpaA. 1 protein, was not abolished by absorption with the purified recombinant C-terminal repeat region. In addition, antibodies specific for the C-terminal repeat region were unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. These results show that the N-terminal two-thirds of the SpaA.1 molecule may constitute a good vaccine candidate against erysipelas.  (+info)

A novel protein of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae that confers haemolytic activity on Escherichia coli. (2/99)

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, the cause of swine erysipelas and human erysipeloid, produces a haemolysin. A recombinant plasmid, pHLY, conferring haemolytic activity on Escherichia coli was isolated from a genomic library of Ery. rhusiopathiae strain Tama-96. This plasmid was stable in RecA- E. coli, but unstable in a RecA+ strain. A spontaneous deletion plasmid, pMini-HLY, also conferring haemolytic activity was derived from pHLY. Two ORFs were detected in pHLY. Analysis of pMini-HLY and other deletion clones established that ORF2 was associated with haemolytic activity. The sequence of ORF1 was highly homologous to those of transposases in the IS30 family. The deletion which generated pMini-HLY was between two short direct repeat (DR) sequences flanking the ORF1 sequence, and there were inverted repeat sequences inside the two DR sequences, suggesting an insertion element. No sequence homology to the deduced amino acid sequence of ORF2 was detected in the databases, but its sequence was characteristic of a surface lipoprotein. Western blot analysis, using antiserum against the 16 kDa protein produced from ORF2, found the protein to be commonly distributed in all Erysipelothrix species.  (+info)

Truncated surface protective antigen (SpaA) of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae serotype 1a elicits protection against challenge with serotypes 1a and 2b in pigs. (3/99)

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is a causal agent of swine erysipelas, which is of economic importance in the swine industry by virtue of causing acute septicemia, chronic arthritis, and endocarditis. However, little is known about the genetic properties of its protective antigens. Recently, a surface protective antigen (SpaA) gene was identified from serotype 2 in a mouse model. We cloned spaA from virulent strain Fujisawa (serotype 1a) and determined that the N-terminal 342 amino acids without C-terminal repeats of 20 amino acids have the ability to elicit protection in mice. Fusions of 342 amino acids of Fujisawa SpaA and histidine hexamer (HisSpa1.0) protected pigs against challenge with both serotype 1 and serotype 2, the most important serotypes in the swine industry. Pigs immunized with HisSpa1.0 reacted well with both HisSpa1.0 and intact SpaA by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting. Serum collected at the time of challenge from a pig immunized with HisSpa1. 0 markedly enhanced the in vitro phagocytic and killing activity of pig neutrophils against the bacteria. DNA sequences of protective regions of spaA genes from five strains of serotypes 1 and 2 were almost identical. The full DNA sequences also seemed to be conserved among strains of all 12 serotype reference strains harboring the spaA gene by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of PCR products. These results indicates that SpaA is a common protective antigen of serotypes 1 and 2 of E. rhusiopathiae in swine and will be a useful tool for development of new types of vaccines and diagnostic tools for effective control of the disease.  (+info)

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: bacteriology, epidemiology and clinical manifestations of an occupational pathogen. (4/99)

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae has been recognised as a cause of infection in animals and man since the late 1880s. It is the aetiological agent of swine erysipelas, and also causes economically important diseases in turkeys, chickens, ducks and emus, and other farmed animals such as sheep. The organism has the ability to persist for long periods in the environment and survive in marine locations. Infection in man is occupationally related, occurring principally as a result of contact with animals, their products or wastes. Human infection can take one of three forms: a mild cutaneous infection known as erysipeloid, a diffuse cutaneous form and a serious although rare systemic complication with septicaemia and endocarditis. While it has been suggested that the incidence of human infection could be declining because of technological advances in animal industries, infection still occurs in specific environments. Furthermore, infection by the organism may be under-diagnosed because of the resemblance it bears to other infections and the problems that may be encountered in isolation and identification. Diagnosis of erysipeloid can be difficult if not recognised clinically, as culture is lengthy and the organism resides deep in the skin. There have been recent advances in molecular approaches to diagnosis and in understanding of Erysipelothrix taxonomy and pathogenesis. Two PCR assays have been described for the diagnosis of swine erysipelas, one of which has been applied successfully to human samples. Treatment by oral and intramuscular penicillin is effective. However, containment and control procedures are far more effective ways to reduce infection in both man and animals.  (+info)

Serotyping and pathogenicity of Erysipelothrix strains isolated from tonsils of slaughter pigs in Thailand. (5/99)

Erysipelothrix strains were isolated from the tonsils of 46 (15.0%) of 307 apparently healthy slaughter pigs in Thailand during the period of August to September, 1997. A total of 27 of the 46 Erysipelothrix isolates could be classified into 5 serovars but the remaining 19 were untypable in this study. Of the 25 isolates serologically identified as Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, 20, 4, and 1 isolates belonged to serovars 2, 12, and 17, respectively. Only 2 isolates from the tonsils belonged to Erysipelothrix tonsillarum and represented either serovar 7 or 10. Although the periods and the districts of the survey were limited, the information obtained in the present investigation demonstrates the presence of a variety of serovars in pigs in Thailand. Of 29 selected isolates belonging to serovars 2, 7, 10, 12, 17, and untypable, only 5 (17.2%) were virulent for both mice and pigs. Five of these virulent isolates belonging to serovars 2 and 12 killed less than 30% of mice immunized with a swine erysipelas bacterin commercially available in Thailand, suggesting that the vaccine elicited a sufficient immunity to these field isolates.  (+info)

Direct and rapid detection by PCR of Erysipelothrix sp. DNAs prepared from bacterial strains and animal tissues. (6/99)

A PCR method for rapid screening of Erysipelothrix spp. in the slaughterhouse was carried out by using four species-specific sets of oligonucleotide primers after initial amplification with the primer set MO101-MO102, which amplifies the 16S rRNA sequences of all four Erysipelothrix species. The DNA sequences coding for the rRNA gene cluster, including 16S rRNA, 23S rRNA, and the noncoding region downstream of 5S rRNA, were determined in order to design primers for the species-specific PCR detection system. The homology among the 4.5-kb DNA sequences of the rRNA genes of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae serovar 2 (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession no. AB019247), E. tonsillarum serovar 7 (accession no. AB019248), E. rhusiopathiae serovar 13 (accession no. AB019249), and E. rhusiopathiae serovar 18 (accession no. AB019250) ranged from 96.0 to 98.4%. The PCR amplifications were specific and were able to distinguish the DNAs from each of the four Erysipelothrix species. The results of PCR tests performed directly with tissue specimens from diseased animals were compared with the results of cultivation tests, and the PCR tests were completed within 5 h. The test with this species-specific system based on PCR amplification with the DNA sequences coding for the rRNA gene cluster was an accurate, easy-to-read screening method for rapid diagnosis of Erysipelothrix sp. infection in the slaughterhouse.  (+info)

Potential errors in recognition of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. (7/99)

Here we describe four isolations of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae associated with polyarthralgia and renal failure, septic arthritis, classic erysipeloid, and peritonitis. Although the biochemical identification was straightforward in each case, recognition presented a challenge to the clinical microbiologist, since in three cases E. rhusiopathiae was not initially considered due to unusual clinical presentations, in two cases the significance might not have been appreciated because growth was in broth only, and in one case the infection was thought to be polymicrobic. Because the Gram stain can be confusing, abbreviated identification schemes that do not include testing for H(2)S production could allow E. rhusiopathiae isolates to be misidentified as Lactobacillus spp. or Enterococcus spp. in atypical infections.  (+info)

Comparison of methods for detection of Erysipelothrix spp. and their distribution in some Australasian seafoods. (8/99)

For many years, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae has been known to be the causative agent of the occupationally related infection erysipeloid. A survey of the distribution of Erysipelothrix spp. in 19 Australasian seafoods was conducted, and methodologies for the detection of Erysipelothrix spp. were evaluated. Twenty-one Erysipelothrix spp. were isolated from 52 seafood parts. Primary isolation of Erysipelothrix spp. was most efficiently achieved with brain heart infusion broth enrichment followed by subculture onto a selective brain heart infusion agar containing kanamycin, neomycin, and vancomycin after 48 h of incubation. Selective tryptic soy broth, with 48 h of incubation, was the best culture method for the detection of Erysipelothrix spp. with PCR. PCR detection was 50% more sensitive than culture. E. rhusiopathiae was isolated from a variety of different fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans, including a Western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus). There was no significant correlation between the origin of the seafoods tested and the distribution of E. rhusiopathiae. An organism indistinguishable from Erysipelothrix tonsillarum was isolated for the first time from an Australian oyster and a silver bream. Overall, Erysipelothrix spp. were widely distributed in Australasian seafoods, illustrating the potential for erysipeloid-like infections in fishermen.  (+info)