Distribution, gene sequence and expression in vivo of the plasmid encoded fimbrial antigen of Salmonella serotype Enteritidis
Woodward, M. J., AllenVercoe, E. and Redstone, J. S. (1996) Distribution, gene sequence and expression in vivo of the plasmid encoded fimbrial antigen of Salmonella serotype Enteritidis. Epidemiology and Infection, 117 (1). pp. 17-28. ISSN 0950-2688
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The pefA gene which encoded the serotype associated plasmid (SAP) mediated fimbrial major subunit antigen of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium shared genetic identity with 128 of 706 salmonella isolates as demonstrated by dot (colony) hybridization. Seventy-seven of 113 isolates of Typhimurium and individual isolates of serotypes Bovis-morbificans, Cholerae-suis and Enteritidis phage type 9b hybridized pefA strongly, whereas 48 isolates of Enteritidis hybridized pefA weakly and one Enteritidis isolate of phage type 14b failed to hybridize. Individual isolates of 294 serotypes and 247 individual isolates of serotype Dublin did not hybridize pefA. Southern hybridization of plasmids extracted from Enteritidis demonstrated that the pefA gene probe hybridized strongly an atypical SAP of 80 kb in size harboured by one Enteritidis isolate of phage-type 9b, whereas the typical SAP of 58 kb in size harboured by 48 Enteritidis isolates hybridized weakly. One Enteritidis isolate of phage type 14b which failed to hybridize pefA in dot (colony) hybridization experiments was demonstrated to be plasmid free. A cosmid library of Enteritidis phage type 4 expressed in Escherichia coli K12 was screened by hybridization for the presence of pef sequences. Recombinant clones which were deduced to harbour the entire pef operon elaborated a PEF-like fimbrial structure at the cell surface. The PEF-like fimbrial antigen was purified from one cosmid clone and used in western blot experiments with sera from chickens infected with Enteritidis phage-type 4. Seroconversion to the fimbrial antigen was observed which indicated that the Enteritidis PEF-like fimbrial structure was expressed at some stage during infection. Nucleotide sequence analysis demonstrated that the pefA alleles of Typhimurium and Enteritidis phage-type 4 shared 76% DNA nucleotide and 82% deduced amino acid sequence identity.