Author(s): CaroHernndez P, FernndezLago L, de Miguel MJ, MartnMartn AI, Cloeckaert A,
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Abstract The genes coding for the five outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of the Omp25/Omp31 family expected to be located in the outer membrane (OM) of rough virulent Brucella ovis PA were inactivated to evaluate their role in virulence and OM properties. The OM properties of the mutant strains and of the mutants complemented with the corresponding wild-type genes were analyzed, in comparison with the parental strain and rough B. abortus RB51, in several tests: (i) binding of anti-Omp25 and anti-Omp31 monoclonal antibodies, (ii) autoagglutination of bacterial suspensions, and (iii) assessment of susceptibility to polymyxin B, sodium deoxycholate, hydrogen peroxide, and nonimmune ram serum. A tight balance of the members of the Omp25/Omp31 family was seen to be essential for the stability of the B. ovis OM, and important differences between the OMs of B. ovis PA and B. abortus RB51 rough strains were observed. Regarding virulence, the absence of Omp25d and Omp22 from the OM of B. ovis PA led to a drastic reduction in spleen colonization in mice. While the greater susceptibility of the Deltaomp22 mutant to nonimmune serum and its difficulty in surviving in the stationary phase might be on the basis of its dramatic attenuation, no defects in the OM able to explain the attenuation of the Deltaomp25d mutant were found, especially considering that the fully virulent Deltaomp25c mutant displayed more important OM defects. Accordingly, Omp25d, and perhaps Omp22, could be directly involved in the penetration and/or survival of B. ovis inside host cells. This aspect, together with the role of Omp25d and Omp22 in the virulence both of B. ovis in rams and of other Brucella species, should be thoroughly evaluated in future studies.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense