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Evolution of the capsular Operon of Streptococcus iniae in response to vaccination

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Millard, C. M., Balano, J. C.F., Chan, C., Yuen, B., Aviles, F., Landos, M., Chong, R. S.M., Benedict, S. and Barnes, A. C. (2012) Evolution of the capsular Operon of Streptococcus iniae in response to vaccination. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 78 (23). pp. 8219-8226. ISSN 0099-2240


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02216-12


Streptococcus iniae causes severe septicemia and meningitis in farmed fish and is also occasionally zoonotic. Vaccination against S. iniae is problematic, with frequent breakdown of protection in vaccinated fish. The major protective antigens in S. iniae are the polysaccharides of the capsule, which are essential for virulence. Capsular biosynthesis is driven and regulated by a 21-kb operon comprising up to 20 genes. In a long-term study, we have sequenced the capsular operon of strains that have been used in autogenous vaccines across Australia and compared it with the capsular operon sequences of strains subsequently isolated from infected vaccinated fish. Intriguingly, strains isolated from vaccinated fish that subsequently become infected have coding mutations that are confined to a limited number of genes in the cps operon, with the remainder of the genes in the operon remaining stable. Mutations in strains in diseased vaccinated fish occur in key genes in the capsular operon that are associated with polysaccharide configuration (cpsG) and with regulation of biosynthesis (cpsD and cpsE). This, along with high ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous mutations within the cps genes, suggests that immune response directed predominantly against capsular polysaccharide may be driving evolution in a very specific set of genes in the operon. From these data, it may be possible to design a simple polyvalent vaccine with a greater operational life span than the current monovalent killed bacterins.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Veterinary medicine > Veterinary microbiology
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Aquaculture > Fish culture > Diseases and adverse factors
Live Archive:14 Apr 2024 23:33
Last Modified:14 Apr 2024 23:33

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