Experimental Infections with Mycoplasma agalactiae Identify Key Factors Involved in Host-Colonization - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2014

Experimental Infections with Mycoplasma agalactiae Identify Key Factors Involved in Host-Colonization

Abstract

Mechanisms underlying pathogenic processes in mycoplasma infections are poorly understood, mainly because of limited sequence similarities with classical, bacterial virulence factors. Recently, large-scale transposon mutagenesis in the ruminant pathogen Mycoplasma agalactiae identified the NIF locus, including nifS and nifU, as essential for mycoplasma growth in cell culture, while dispensable in axenic media. To evaluate the importance of this locus in vivo, the infectivity of two knock-out mutants was tested upon experimental infection in the natural host. In this model, the parental PG2 strain was able to establish a systemic infection in lactating ewes, colonizing various body sites such as lymph nodes and the mammary gland, even when inoculated at low doses. In these PG2-infected ewes, we observed over the course of infection (i) the development of a specific antibody response and (ii) dynamic changes in expression of M. agalactiae surface variable proteins (Vpma), with multiple Vpma profiles co-existing in the same animal. In contrast and despite a sensitive model, none of the knock-out mutants were able to survive and colonize the host. The extreme avirulent phenotype of the two mutants was further supported by the absence of an IgG response in inoculated animals. The exact role of the NIF locus remains to be elucidated but these data demonstrate that it plays a key role in the infectious process of M. agalactiae and most likely of other pathogenic mycoplasma species as many carry closely related homologs.
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hal-02640061 , version 1 (28-05-2020)

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Eric Baranowski, Dominique Bergonier, Eveline Sagné, Marie-Claude Hygonenq, Patricia Ronsin, et al.. Experimental Infections with Mycoplasma agalactiae Identify Key Factors Involved in Host-Colonization. PLoS ONE, 2014, Advances in Virus Research, 9 (4), pp.e93970. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0093970⟩. ⟨hal-02640061⟩
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