Pasteurella multocida lipopolysaccharide: The long and the short of it

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Pasteurella multocida is a capsulated, Gram-negative cocco-bacillus that can cause serious disease in a wide range of mammals and birds. P. multocida strains are classified into 16 serovars based on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigens. LPS is an essential virulence factor of P. multocida; mutants expressing severely truncated LPS are completely attenuated in chickens. LPS is also a major immunogen of P. multocida and protection against infections caused by P. multocida is generally considered to be serovar specific. In this review we summarize current knowledge of the structure and genetics of LPS assembly of P. multocida strains belonging to five different serovars. These include strains belonging to serovars 1 and 3, the most common serovars found in the poultry industry, and strains belonging serovars 2 and 5, the serovars associated with bovine haemorrhagic septicaemia outbreaks. A number of the serovars are genetically related; serovars 1 and 14 share the same LPS outer core biosynthesis locus, but due to a mutation within the phosphocholine biosynthesis gene, pcgA, the serovar 14 strain produces a truncated LPS structure. Similarly serovars 2 and 5 share an identical LPS outer core locus and express near-identical LPS structures. However, due to a single point mutation in the phosphoethanolamine (PEtn) transferase gene, lpt_3, the serovar 2 strain does not elaborate a PEtn residue on heptose II. Knowledge of the genetic basis for the LPS structures expressed by P. multocida will facilitate the development of rapid molecular methods for typing and diagnosis and will be essential for a rational approach to vaccine formulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109 - 115
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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