Biological properties and genetic analysis of the ompA locus in chlamydiae isolated from swine

Bernhard Kaltenboeck From the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Johannes Storz From the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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SUMMARY

Eight strains of Chlamydia psittaci isolated from swine with pneumonia, pleuritis, pericarditis, and enteritis were characterized through analysis of the major outer membrane protein gene ompA by a two-step polymerase chain reaction, by their interactions with cells in culture, and the morphologic features and ultrastructure of intra-cellular inclusions. Amplified chlamydial ompA dna fragments were differentiated by restriction endonuclease digestion. Chlamydial isolates were separated into 2 types on the basis of ompA restriction fragment length polymorphism. Strains of type L71 had finely granular inclusions, whereas those of type 1710S contained pleomorphic reticulate bodies (rb) in the inclusions, which are characteristic of aberrant chlamydial developmental forms. Chlamydial types L71 and 1710S required centrifuge-assisted inoculation for efficient infection of cell cultures. Cultivation in cell culture medium containing cycloheximide increased the numbers of chlamydial inclusions about 1.5-fold. These strains formed few elementary bodies in yolk sac cells of chicken embryos. Ultrastructurally, unique doublet rb were observed, particularly in strains of the ompA type L71. These doublets consisted of 2 rb, bounded by a cytoplasmic membrane, contained within a common cell wall and an extended periplasmic space. Ultrastructural examination of strains of the ompA type 1710S confirmed the aberrant chlamydial developmental forms, but evidence of viral infection of the rb as a cause of these aberrant forms was not found. The strain S45 isolated from intestinal sites of swine was a trachoma restriction fragment length polymorphism type. With the mouse biotype, it represented the second isolate from animals of Chlamydia trachomatis.

SUMMARY

Eight strains of Chlamydia psittaci isolated from swine with pneumonia, pleuritis, pericarditis, and enteritis were characterized through analysis of the major outer membrane protein gene ompA by a two-step polymerase chain reaction, by their interactions with cells in culture, and the morphologic features and ultrastructure of intra-cellular inclusions. Amplified chlamydial ompA dna fragments were differentiated by restriction endonuclease digestion. Chlamydial isolates were separated into 2 types on the basis of ompA restriction fragment length polymorphism. Strains of type L71 had finely granular inclusions, whereas those of type 1710S contained pleomorphic reticulate bodies (rb) in the inclusions, which are characteristic of aberrant chlamydial developmental forms. Chlamydial types L71 and 1710S required centrifuge-assisted inoculation for efficient infection of cell cultures. Cultivation in cell culture medium containing cycloheximide increased the numbers of chlamydial inclusions about 1.5-fold. These strains formed few elementary bodies in yolk sac cells of chicken embryos. Ultrastructurally, unique doublet rb were observed, particularly in strains of the ompA type L71. These doublets consisted of 2 rb, bounded by a cytoplasmic membrane, contained within a common cell wall and an extended periplasmic space. Ultrastructural examination of strains of the ompA type 1710S confirmed the aberrant chlamydial developmental forms, but evidence of viral infection of the rb as a cause of these aberrant forms was not found. The strain S45 isolated from intestinal sites of swine was a trachoma restriction fragment length polymorphism type. With the mouse biotype, it represented the second isolate from animals of Chlamydia trachomatis.

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