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Molecular characterization of the pL40 protein in Leptospira interrogans

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Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic leptospires. The identification of outer membrane proteins (OMPs) conserved among pathogenic leptospires, which are exposed on the leptospiral surface and expressed during mammalian infection, has become a major focus of leptospirosis research. pL40, a 40 kDa protein coded by the LA3744 gene in Leptospira interrogans, was found to be unique to Leptospira. Triton X-114 fractionation and flow cytometry analyses indicate that pL40 is a component of the leptospiral outer membrane. The conservation of pL40 among Leptospira strains prevalent in China was confirmed by both Western blotting and PCR screening. Furthermore, the pL40 antigen could be recognized by sera from guinea pigs and mice infected with low-passage L. interrogans. These findings indicate that pL40 may serve as a useful serodiagnostic antigen and vaccine candidate for L. interrogans.

La leptospirose est une zoonose répandue causée par les souches de leptospire pathogènes. L’identification des protéines de la membrane externe conservées parmi les leptospires pathogènes, qui sont exposées à la surface du leptospire et qui sont exprimées durant l’infection chez le mammifère, est devenue un point d’intérêt majeur de la recherche sur la leptospirose. La pL40, une protéine de 40 kDa codée par le gène LA3744 chez Leptospira interrogans, est unique à Leptopsira. Le fractionnement au Triton X-114 et les analyses en cytométrie de flux indiquent que la pL40 est une composante de la membrane externe du leptospire. La conservation de la pL40 parmi les souches de leptospire prévalentes en Chine a été confirmée en immunobuvardage et par criblage en PCR. De plus, l’antigène pL40 pouvait être reconnu par le sérum de cobayes et de souris infectés par L. interrogans de faible passage. Ces résultats indiquent que la pL40 pourrait servir d’antigène utile au diagnostic sérologique et de vaccin candidat contre L. interrogans.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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