J Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;204(10):1585-95. Epub 2011 Sep 9.
Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 9A isolates contain diverse mutations to wcjE that result in variable expression of serotype 9V-specific epitope.
SourceDepartment of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL, USA.
BACKGROUND:Streptococcus pneumoniae is a significant pathogen capable of expressing protective and antigenically diverse capsules. To better understand the molecular basis of capsular antigenic diversity, we investigated the hypothetical serological role of wcjE, which encodes a capsule O-acetyltransferase, in the vaccine-targeted serotype 9V and related serotype 9A.
METHODS:We inactivated wcjE by recombination in a serotype 9V strain and determined wcjE sequences of 11 serotype 9A clinical isolates. We determined the antigenic phenotypes of these pneumococcal strains with serogroup 9-specific antibodies and flow cytometry.
RESULTS:Inactivation of wcjE in a serotype 9V strain resulted in expression of the 9A phenotype. Each serotype 9A clinical isolate contained a distinct mutation to wcjE. Flow cytometry showed that some 9A isolates (herein named 9Aα) expressed trace amounts of 9V-specific epitopes whereas others (named 9Aβ) did not express any. Recombination with 9Aα wcjE alleles into a 9Aβ strain conferred partial expression of 9V-specific epitopes.
CONCLUSIONS:Each serotype 9A strain independently arose from a serotype 9V strain. Furthermore, clinical isolates identified as 9A can contain mutations to wcjE that are either partially functional or completely nonfunctional, demonstrating a previously unidentified antigenic heterogeneity of serotype 9A isolates.
Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 9A isolates c... [J Infect Dis. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI
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