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Cloning and expression of genes encoding Haemophilus somnus antigens.

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  • Biology
  • Medicine
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Abstract

A genomic library of Haemophilus somnus 2336, a virulent isolate from a calf with pneumonia (later used to reproduce H. somnus experimental pneumonia), was constructed in the cosmid vector pHC79. The gene bank in Escherichia coli DH1 was screened by filter immunoassay with convalescent-phase serum, which reacted with several outer membrane antigens of H. somnus. On Western blotting (immunoblotting) of immunoreactive colonies, five clones were found to express proteins which comigrated with H. somnus surface antigens. Three clones (DH1 pHS1, pHS3, and pHS4) expressed both a 120-kilodalton (kDa) antigen and a 76-kDa antigen, one clone (DH1 pHS2) expressed only the 76-kDa antigen, and the fifth clone (DH1 pHS5) expressed a 60-kDa antigen. The 120-kDa and 76-kDa antigens were found internally, whereas the 60-kDa protein was detected in the DH1 pHS5 culture supernatant as membrane blebs or insoluble protein. Both the H. somnus 120-kDa antigen and the recombinant 120-kDa antigen had immunoglobulin Fc-binding activity. Restriction endonuclease mapping demonstrated that the genomic DNA inserts of clones expressing the 76-kDa antigen shared a common 28.4-kilobase-pair region, and the three clones also expressing the 120-kDa antigen shared an additional 7.0-kilobase-pair region. The restriction endonuclease map of pHS5, which expressed the 60-kDa antigen, was not similar to the maps of the other four plasmids. Since these three H. somnus antigens reacted with protective convalescent-phase serum, the recombinants which express these proteins should be useful in further studies of protective immunity in bovine H. somnus disease.

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