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1.  Systems infection biology: a compartmentalized immune network of pig spleen challenged with Haemophilus parasuis 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:46.
Network biology (systems biology) approaches are useful tools for elucidating the host infection processes that often accompany complex immune networks. Although many studies have recently focused on Haemophilus parasuis, a model of Gram-negative bacterium, little attention has been paid to the host's immune response to infection. In this article, we use network biology to investigate infection with Haemophilus parasuis in an in vivo pig model.
By targeting the spleen immunogenome, we established an expression signature indicative of H. parasuis infection using a PCA/GSEA combined method. We reconstructed the immune network and estimated the network topology parameters that characterize the immunogene expressions in response to H. parasuis infection. The results showed that the immune network of H. parasuis infection is compartmentalized (not globally linked). Statistical analysis revealed that the reconstructed network is scale-free but not small-world. Based on the quantitative topological prioritization, we inferred that the C1R-centered clique might play a vital role in responding to H. parasuis infection.
Here, we provide the first report of reconstruction of the immune network in H. parasuis-infected porcine spleen. The distinguishing feature of our work is the focus on utilizing the immunogenome for a network biology-oriented analysis. Our findings complement and extend the frontiers of knowledge of host infection biology for H. parasuis and also provide a new clue for systems infection biology of Gram-negative bacilli in mammals.
PMCID: PMC3610166  PMID: 23339624
Pig model; Haemophilus parasuis; Spleen; Immunogenome; Network; Quantitative topology; Scale-free, C1R
2.  Genomic Characterization of Haemophilus parasuis SH0165, a Highly Virulent Strain of Serovar 5 Prevalent in China 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19631.
Haemophilus parasuis can be either a commensal bacterium of the porcine respiratory tract or an opportunistic pathogen causing Glässer's disease, a severe systemic disease that has led to significant economical losses in the pig industry worldwide. We determined the complete genomic sequence of H. parasuis SH0165, a highly virulent strain of serovar 5, which was isolated from a hog pen in North China. The single circular chromosome was 2,269,156 base pairs in length and contained 2,031 protein-coding genes. Together with the full spectrum of genes detected by the analysis of metabolic pathways, we confirmed that H. parasuis generates ATP via both fermentation and respiration, and possesses an intact TCA cycle for anabolism. In addition to possessing the complete pathway essential for the biosynthesis of heme, this pathogen was also found to be well-equipped with different iron acquisition systems, such as the TonB system and ABC-type transport complexes, to overcome iron limitation during infection and persistence. We identified a number of genes encoding potential virulence factors, such as type IV fimbriae and surface polysaccharides. Analysis of the genome confirmed that H. parasuis is naturally competent, as genes related to DNA uptake are present. A nine-mer DNA uptake signal sequence (ACAAGCGGT), identical to that found in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Mannheimia haemolytica, followed by similar downstream motifs, was identified in the SH0165 genome. Genomic and phylogenetic comparisons with other Pasteurellaceae species further indicated that H. parasuis was closely related to another swine pathogenic bacteria A. pleuropneumoniae. The comprehensive genetic analysis presented here provides a foundation for future research on the metabolism, natural competence and virulence of H. parasuis.
PMCID: PMC3096633  PMID: 21611187
3.  Gene expression profiling in the lungs of pigs with different susceptibilities to Glässer's disease 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:455.
Haemophilus parasuis is the causative agent of Glässer's disease in pigs. Currently, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that contribute to disease susceptibility. This study used a porcine oligonucleotide microarray to identify genes that were differentially expressed (DE) in the lungs of colostrum-deprived animals previously characterized as being either 'Fully Resistant' (FR) or 'Susceptible' to infection by H. parasuis in a bacterial challenge experiment.
Gene expression profiles of 'FR' and 'Susceptible' animals were obtained by the identification of genes that were differentially expressed between each of these groups and mock-inoculated 'Control' animals. At 24 hours post-inoculation, a total of 21 and 58 DE genes were identified in 'FR' and 'Susceptible' animals respectively. At 72 hours, the numbers of genes were 20 and 347 respectively. 'FR' animals at 24 hours exhibited an increased expression of genes encoding extracellular matrix and TGF-β signalling components, possibly indicative of tissue repair following the successful early resolution of infection. The gene expression profile of 'FR' animals at 72 hours supported the hypothesis that higher levels of antibacterial activity were responsible for the 'FR' phenotype, possibly due to an increase in natural immunoglobulin A and decrease in signalling by the immunoregulatory transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ). The expression profile of 'Susceptible' animals at both time-points was characterized by an imbalance in signalling between pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines and an increased expression of genes involved in biological processes associated with inflammation. These include the pro-inflammatory cytokine genes resistin (RETN) and interleukin 1-beta (IL1B). At 72 hours, a reduction in the expression of genes involved in antigen presentation by both MHC class I and II molecules was observed, which could have contributed to the inability of 'Susceptible' animals to clear infection.
This study is the first to have identified discrete sets of DE genes in pigs of differing susceptibility to H. parasuis infection. Consequently, several candidate genes and pathways for disease resistance or susceptibility phenotypes have been identified. In addition, the findings have shed light on the molecular pathology associated with Glässer's disease.
PMCID: PMC3017779  PMID: 20670446
4.  Differential interactions of virulent and non-virulent H. parasuis strains with naïve or swine influenza virus pre-infected dendritic cells 
Veterinary Research  2012;43(1):80.
Pigs possess a microbiota in the upper respiratory tract that includes Haemophilus parasuis. Pigs are also considered the reservoir of influenza viruses and infection with this virus commonly results in increased impact of bacterial infections, including those by H. parasuis. However, the mechanisms involved in host innate responses towards H. parasuis and their implications in a co-infection with influenza virus are unknown. Therefore, the ability of a non-virulent H. parasuis serovar 3 (SW114) and a virulent serovar 5 (Nagasaki) strains to interact with porcine bone marrow dendritic cells (poBMDC) and their modulation in a co-infection with swine influenza virus (SwIV) H3N2 was examined. At 1 hour post infection (hpi), SW114 interaction with poBMDC was higher than that of Nagasaki, while at 8 hpi both strains showed similar levels of interaction. The co-infection with H3N2 SwIV and either SW114 or Nagasaki induced higher levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12 and IL-10 compared to mock or H3N2 SwIV infection alone. Moreover, IL-12 and IFN-α secretion differentially increased in cells co-infected with H3N2 SwIV and Nagasaki. These results pave the way for understanding the differences in the interaction of non-virulent and virulent strains of H. parasuis with the swine immune system and their modulation in a viral co-infection.
PMCID: PMC3585918  PMID: 23157617
5.  Differences in phagocytosis susceptibility in Haemophilus parasuis strains 
Veterinary Research  2009;40(3):24.
Haemophilus parasuis is a colonizer of the upper respiratory tract of healthy pigs, but virulent strains can cause a systemic infection characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, commonly known as Glässer’s disease. The variability in virulence that is observed among H. parasuis strains is not completely understood, since the virulence mechanisms of H. parasuis are largely unknown. In the course of infection, H. parasuis has to survive the host pulmonary defences, which include alveolar macrophages, to produce disease. Using strains from different clinical backgrounds, we were able to detect clear differences in susceptibility to phagocytosis. Strains isolated from the nose of healthy animals were efficiently phagocytosed by porcine alveolar macrophages (PAM), while strains isolated from systemic lesions were resistant to this interaction. Phagocytosis of susceptible strains proceeded through mechanisms independent of a specific receptor, which involved actin filaments and microtubules. In all the systemic strains tested in this study, we observed a distinct capsule after interaction with PAM, indicating a role of this surface structure in phagocytosis resistance. However, additional mechanisms of resistance to phagocytosis should be explored, since we detected different effects of microtubule inhibition among systemic strains.
PMCID: PMC2695031  PMID: 19239855
phagocytosis resistance; Haemophilus parasuis; alveolar macrophages; strain variability
6.  VtaA8 and VtaA9 from Haemophilus parasuis delay phagocytosis by alveolar macrophages 
Veterinary Research  2012;43(1):57.
Haemophilus parasuis, a member of the family Pasteurellaceae, is a common inhabitant of the upper respiratory tract of healthy pigs and the etiological agent of Glässer’s disease. As other virulent Pasteurellaceae, H. parasuis can prevent phagocytosis, but the bacterial factors involved in this virulence mechanism are not known. In order to identify genes involved in phagocytosis resistance, we constructed a genomic library of the highly virulent reference strain Nagasaki and clones were selected by increased survival after incubation with porcine alveolar macrophages (PAM). Two clones containing two virulent-associated trimeric autotransporter (VtaA) genes, vtaA8 and vtaA9, respectively, were selected by this method. A reduction in the interaction of the two clones with the macrophages was detected by flow cytometry. Monoclonal antibodies were produced and used to demonstrate the presence of these proteins on the bacterial surface of the corresponding clone, and on the H. parasuis phagocytosis-resistant strain PC4-6P. The effect of VtaA8 and VtaA9 in the trafficking of the bacteria through the endocytic pathway was examined by fluorescence microscopy and a delay was detected in the localization of the vtaA8 and vtaA9 clones in acidic compartments. These results are compatible with a partial inhibition of the routing of the bacteria via the degradative phagosome. Finally, antibodies against a common epitope in VtaA8 and VtaA9 were opsonic and promoted phagocytosis of the phagocytosis-resistant strain PC4-6P by PAM. Taken together, these results indicate that VtaA8 and VtaA9 are surface proteins that play a role in phagocytosis resistance of H. parasuis.
PMCID: PMC3462726  PMID: 22839779
7.  Development and Characterization of Protective Haemophilus parasuis Subunit Vaccines Based on Native Proteins with Affinity to Porcine Transferrin and Comparison with Other Subunit and Commercial Vaccines ▿  
Haemophilus parasuis is the agent responsible for causing Glässer's disease, which is characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, polyarthritis, and meningitis in pigs. In this study, we have characterized native outer membrane proteins with affinity to porcine transferrin (NPAPT) from H. parasuis serovar 5, Nagasaki strain. This pool of proteins was used as antigen to developed two vaccine formulations: one was adjuvanted with a mineral oil (Montanide IMS 2215 VG PR), while the other was potentiated with a bacterial neuraminidase from Clostridium perfringens. The potential protective effect conferred by these two vaccines was compared to that afforded by two other vaccines, consisting of recombinant transferrin-binding protein (rTbp) A or B fragments from H. parasuis, Nagasaki strain, and by a commercially available inactivated vaccine. Five groups of colostrum-deprived piglets immunized with the vaccines described above, one group per each vaccine, and a group of nonvaccinated control animals were challenged intratracheally with a lethal dose (3 × 108 CFU) of H. parasuis, Nagasaki strain. The two vaccines containing rTbps yielded similar results with minimal protection against death, clinical signs, gross and microscopic lesions, and H. parasuis invasion. In contrast, the two vaccines composed of NPAPT antigen and commercial bacterin resulted in a strong protection against challenge (without deaths and clinical signs), mild histopathological changes, and no recovery of H. parasuis, thus suggesting their effectiveness in preventing Glässer's disease outbreaks caused by serovar 5.
PMCID: PMC3019774  PMID: 20926701
8.  The Live Attenuated Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae Triple-Deletion Mutant ΔapxIC ΔapxIIC ΔapxIV-ORF1 Strain, SLW05, Immunizes Pigs against Lethal Challenge with Haemophilus parasuis 
Haemophilus parasuis and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae both belong to the family Pasteurellaceae and are major respiratory pathogens that cause large economic losses in the pig industry worldwide. We previously constructed an attenuated A. pleuropneumoniae serovar 1 live vaccine prototype, SLW05 (ΔapxIC ΔapxIIC ΔapxIV-ORF1), which is able to produce nontoxic but immunogenic ApxIA, ApxIIA, and ApxIVA. This triple-deletion mutant strain was shown to elicit protective immunity against virulent A. pleuropneumoniae. In the present study, we investigated whether immunization with SLW05 could also protect against lethal challenge with virulent H. parasuis SH0165 (serovar 5) or MD0322 (serovar 4). The SLW05 strain was found to elicit a strong humoral antibody response in pigs and to confer significant protection against challenge with a lethal dose of H. parasuis SH0165 or MD0322. IgG subtype analysis revealed that SLW05 induces a bias toward a Th1-type immune response and stimulates interleukin 2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production. Moreover, antisera from SLW05-vaccinated pigs efficiently inhibited both A. pleuropneumoniae and H. parasuis growth in a whole-blood assay. This is the first report that a live attenuated A. pleuropneumoniae vaccine with SLW05 can protect against lethal H. parasuis infection, which provides a novel approach for developing an attenuated H. parasuis vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3571286  PMID: 23220998
9.  Understanding Haemophilus parasuis infection in porcine spleen through a transcriptomics approach 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:64.
Haemophilus parasuis (HPS) is an important swine pathogen that causes Glässer's disease, which is characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, meningitis and arthritis. The molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of the disease remain poorly understood, particularly the resistance of porcine immune system to HPS invasion. In this study, we investigated the global changes in gene expression in the spleen following HPS infection using the Affymetrix Porcine Genechip™.
A total of 931 differentially expressed (DE) transcripts were identified in the porcine spleen 7 days after HPS infection; of these, 92 unique genes showed differential expression patterns based on analysis using BLASTX and Gene Ontology. The DE genes involved in the immune response included genes for inflammasomes (RETN, S100A8, S100A9, S100A12), adhesion molecules (CLDN3, CSPG2, CD44, LGALS8), transcription factors (ZBTB16, SLC39A14, CEBPD, CEBPB), acute-phase proteins and complement (SAA1, LTF, HP, C3), differentiation genes for epithelial cells and keratinocytes (TGM1, MS4A8B, CSTA), and genes related to antigen processing and presentation (HLA-B, HLA-DRB1). Further immunostimulation analyses indicated that mRNA levels of S100A8, S100A9, and S100A12 in porcine PK-15 cells increased within 48 h and were sustained after administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Poly(I:C) respectively. In addition, mapping of DE genes to porcine health traits QTL regions showed that 70 genes were distributed in 7 different known porcine QTL regions. Finally, 10 DE genes were validated by quantitative PCR.
Our findings demonstrate previously unrecognized changes in gene transcription that are associated with HPS infection in vivo, and many potential cascades identified in the study clearly merit further investigation. Our data provide new clues to the nature of the immune response in mammals, and we have identified candidate genes that are related to resistance to HPS.
PMCID: PMC2660370  PMID: 19196461
10.  Genomic and proteomic characterization of SuMu, a Mu-like bacteriophage infecting Haemophilus parasuis 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:331.
Haemophilus parasuis, the causative agent of Glässer’s disease, is prevalent in swine herds and clinical signs associated with this disease are meningitis, polyserositis, polyarthritis, and bacterial pneumonia. Six to eight week old pigs in segregated early weaning herds are particularly susceptible to the disease. Insufficient colostral antibody at weaning or the mixing of pigs with heterologous virulent H. parasuis strains from other farm sources in the nursery or grower-finisher stage are considered to be factors for the outbreak of Glässer’s disease. Previously, a Mu-like bacteriophage portal gene was detected in a virulent swine isolate of H. parasuis by nested polymerase chain reaction. Mu-like bacteriophages are related phyologenetically to enterobacteriophage Mu and are thought to carry virulence genes or to induce host expression of virulence genes. This study characterizes the Mu-like bacteriophage, named SuMu, isolated from a virulent H. parasuis isolate.
Characterization was done by genomic comparison to enterobacteriophage Mu and proteomic identification of various homologs by mass spectrometry. This is the first report of isolation and characterization of this bacteriophage from the Myoviridae family, a double-stranded DNA bacteriophage with a contractile tail, from a virulent field isolate of H. parasuis. The genome size of bacteriophage SuMu was 37,151 bp. DNA sequencing revealed fifty five open reading frames, including twenty five homologs to Mu-like bacteriophage proteins: Nlp, phage transposase-C-terminal, COG2842, Gam-like protein, gp16, Mor, peptidoglycan recognition protein, gp29, gp30, gpG, gp32, gp34, gp36, gp37, gpL, phage tail tube protein, DNA circulation protein, gpP, gp45, gp46, gp47, COG3778, tail fiber protein gp37-C terminal, tail fiber assembly protein, and Com. The last open reading frame was homologous to IS1414. The G + C content of bacteriophage SuMu was 41.87% while its H. parasuis host genome’s G + C content was 39.93%. Twenty protein homologs to bacteriophage proteins, including 15 structural proteins, one lysogeny-related and one lysis-related protein, and three DNA replication proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. One of the tail proteins, gp36, may be a virulence-related protein.
Bacteriophage SuMu was characterized by genomic and proteomic methods and compared to enterobacteriophage Mu.
PMCID: PMC3447690  PMID: 22823751
Haemophilus parasuis; Bacteriophage; Virulence
11.  Trimeric Autotransporters of Haemophilus parasuis: Generation of an Extensive Passenger Domain Repertoire Specific for Pathogenic Strains▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2008;191(2):576-587.
Haemophilus parasuis is the agent responsible for causing Glässer's disease, but little is known about the pathogenic determinants of this major pig disease. Here we describe, for the pathogenic strain Nagasaki, the molecular characterization of 13 trimeric autotransporters as assessed by the presence of YadA C-terminal translocator domains which were classified into three groups. All passenger domains possess motifs and repeats characteristic of adhesins, hemagglutinins, and invasins with various centrally located copies of collagen-like repeats. This domain architecture is shared with two trimeric autotransporter proteins of H. somnus 129Pt. Genomic comparison by microarray hybridization demonstrated homologies among H. parasuis virulent strains and high divergence with respect to nonvirulent strains. Therefore, these genes were named vtaA (virulence-associated trimeric autotransporters). The sequencing of 17 homologous vtaA genes of different invasive strains highlighted an extensive mosaic structure. Based also on the presence of DNA uptake signal sequences within the vtaA genes, we propose a mechanism of evolution by which gene duplication and the accumulation of mutations and recombinations, plus the lateral gene transfer of the passenger domain, led to the diversity of this multigene family. This study provides insights to help understand the tissue colonization and invasiveness characteristic of H. parasuis pathogenic strains.
PMCID: PMC2620822  PMID: 19011035
12.  Cross-Protective Efficacy of Recombinant Transferrin-Binding Protein A of Haemophilus parasuis in Guinea Pigs 
The causative agent of Glasser's disease in swine is Haemophilus parasuis. Commercial bacterins are widely used for protection of the swine population. However, cross protection is limited because H. parasuis has more than 15 serovars. Transferrin-binding protein A has shown potential as a broad-spectrum vaccine candidate against homologous and heterologous strains. Here we amplified the full-length tbpA gene from an H. parasuis serovar 13 isolate and cloned it into a pET-SUMO expression vector. We then expressed and purified the TbpA protein by Ni affinity chromatography. First, the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the protein were evaluated in guinea pigs by two subcutaneous immunizations with different doses of Montanide IMS 206 VG adjuvant. The immunized guinea pigs were, respectively, challenged on week 3 after a booster immunization with homologous strain LJ3 (serovar 13) and heterologous strain FX1 (serovar 4), and vaccine-inoculated groups were compared with nonvaccinated controls. All immunized groups showed serum antibody titers higher than those of negative-control groups. Furthermore, the cytokine and chemokine levels were evaluated at the transcriptional level by the real-time PCR analysis of six cytokines and chemokines. Gamma interferon and interleukin-5 in groups immunized with 100 μg were elevated more than 15-fold over those in negative-control groups. The protection rates were 80 and 60% after a challenge with strains LJ3 and FX1, respectively, in the groups vaccinated with 100 μg of recombinant TbpA protein. Subsequently, the data showed that guinea pigs immunized with a single dose (100 μg) were protected at levels of 80, 80, and 60% against LJ3, FX1, and another heterologous strain, SZ (serovar 14), respectively. The results indicate for the first time that TbpA protein cross protects guinea pigs against serovars 13, 4, and 14 of H. parasuis. Taken together, these results suggest that the recombinant TbpA protein is a promising vaccine candidate that needs to be confirmed in a swine population.
PMCID: PMC3675969  PMID: 23616407
13.  Haemophilus parasuis Encodes Two Functional Cytolethal Distending Toxins: CdtC Contains an Atypical Cholesterol Recognition/Interaction Region 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32580.
Haemophilus parasuis is the causative agent of Glässer's disease of pigs, a disease associated with fibrinous polyserositis, polyarthritis and meningitis. We report here H. parasuis encodes two copies of cytolethal distending toxins (Cdts), which these two Cdts showed the uniform toxin activity in vitro. We demonstrate that three Cdt peptides can form an active tripartite holotoxin that exhibits maximum cellular toxicity, and CdtA and CdtB form a more active toxin than CdtB and CdtC. Moreover, the cellular toxicity is associated with the binding of Cdt subunits to cells. Further analysis indicates that CdtC subunit contains an atypical cholesterol recognition/interaction amino acid consensus (CRAC) region. The mutation of CRAC site resulted in decreased cell toxicity. Finally, western blot analysis show all the 15 H. parasuis reference strains and 109 clinical isolates expressed CdtB subunit, indicating that Cdt is a conservative putative virulence factor for H. parasuis. This is the first report of the molecular and cellular basis of Cdt host interactions in H. parasuis.
PMCID: PMC3296717  PMID: 22412890
14.  Changes in Macrophage Phenotype after Infection of Pigs with Haemophilus parasuis Strains with Different Levels of Virulence 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(7):2327-2333.
Haemophilus parasuis is a colonizer of healthy piglets and the etiological agent of Glässer's disease. Differences in virulence among strains of H. parasuis have been widely observed. In order to explore the host-pathogen interaction, snatch-farrowed colostrum-deprived piglets were intranasally infected with 4 strains of H. parasuis: reference virulent strain Nagasaki, reference nonvirulent strain SW114, field strain IT29205 (from a systemic lesion and virulent in a previous challenge), and field strain F9 (from the nasal cavity of a healthy piglet). At different times after infection, two animals of each group were euthanized and alveolar macrophages were analyzed for the expression of CD163, CD172a, SLA I (swine histocompatibility leukocyte antigen I), SLA II, sialoadhesin (or CD169), and CD14. At 1 day postinfection (dpi), virulent strains induced reduced expression of CD163, SLA II, and CD172a on the surfaces of the macrophages, while nonvirulent strains induced increased expression of CD163, both compared to noninfected controls. At 2 dpi, the pattern switched into a strong expression of CD172a, CD163, and sialoadhesin by the virulent strains, which was followed by a steep increase in interleukin 8 (IL-8) and soluble CD163 in serum at 3 to 4 dpi. The early increase in surface expression of CD163 induced by nonvirulent strains went along with higher levels of IL-8 in serum than those induced by virulent strains in the first 2 days of infection. Alpha interferon (IFN-α) induction was observed only in animals infected with nonvirulent strains. Overall, these results are compatible with a delay in macrophage activation by virulent strains, which may be critical for disease production.
PMCID: PMC3697589  PMID: 23589574
15.  Virulence, Transmission, and Heterologous Protection of Four Isolates of Haemophilus parasuis 
Haemophilus parasuis causes Glässer's disease, a syndrome of polyserositis, meningitis, and arthritis in swine. Previous studies with H. parasuis have revealed virulence disparity among isolates and inconsistent heterologous protection. In this study, virulence, direct transmission, and heterologous protection of 4 isolates of H. parasuis (SW114, 12939, MN-H, and 29755) were evaluated using a highly susceptible pig model. In an initial experiment, isolates 12939, MN-H, and 29755 caused Glässer's disease, while strain SW114 failed to cause any clinical signs of disease. One pig from each group challenged with MN-H or 29755 failed to develop clinical disease but was able to transmit H. parasuis to noninfected pigs, which subsequently developed Glässer's disease. Pigs colonized with SW114, 29755, or MN-H that were free of clinical disease were protected from a subsequent challenge with isolate 12939. In a following experiment, pigs vaccinated with strain SW114 given as either a bacterin intramuscularly or a live intranasal vaccine were protected from subsequent challenge with isolate 12939; however, some pigs given live SW114 developed arthritis. Overall these studies demonstrated that pigs infected with virulent isolates of H. parasuis can remain healthy and serve as reservoirs for transmission to naive pigs and that heterologous protection among H. parasuis isolates is possible. In addition, further attenuation of strain SW114 is necessary if it is to be used as a live vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3889593  PMID: 23885030
16.  Virulence-associated trimeric autotransporters of Haemophilus parasuis are antigenic proteins expressed in vivo 
Veterinary Research  2009;41(3):26.
Glässer’s disease is a re-emerging swine disease characterized by a severe septicaemia. Vaccination has been widely used to control the disease, although there is a lack of extended cross-protection. Trimeric autotransporters, a family of surface exposed proteins implicated in host-pathogen interactions, are good vaccine candidates. Members of this family have been described in Haemophilus parasuis and designated as virulence-associated trimeric autotransporters (VtaA). In this work, we produced 15 recombinant VtaA passenger domains and looked for the presence of antibodies directed against them in immune sera by immunoblotting. After infection with a subclinical dose of H. parasuis Nagasaki, an IgG mediated antibody response against 6 (VtaA1, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10) of the 13 VtaA of the Nagasaki strain was detected, indicating that they are expressed in vivo. IgA production against VtaA was detected in only one animal. VtaA were more likely to be late antigens when compared to early (Omp P5 and Omp P6) and late (YaeT) defined antigens. Antibody cross-reaction with two orthologs of Nagasaki’s VtaA5 and 6, VtaA15 and 16 of strain HP1319, was also detected. No antibodies against VtaA were detected in the sera of animals immunized with a bacterin of the Nagasaki strain, suggesting poor expression in the in vitro conditions used. Taken together, these results indicate that VtaA are good candidate immunogens that could be used to improve H. parasuis vaccines. However, their capacity to confer protective immunity needs to be further studied.
PMCID: PMC2820231  PMID: 19995512
Haemophilus parasuis; VtaA; OMP; antibody; cross-reactivity
17.  Complete Genome Analysis of a Haemophilus parasuis Serovar 12 Strain from China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e68350.
Haemophilus parasuis is the etiological agent of Glässer's disease in pigs and 15 standard serovars were identified. The widespread disease causes great economic loss in the swine industry worldwide. Aiming to investigate the differences in genome composition and functions among various strains, a highly virulent strain ZJ0906 of H. parasuis serovar 12 from China was analyzed and compared with serovar 5 SH0165. Strain ZJ0906 genome is 2,324,740 base pairs with 40.06% genomic GC content. It contains 2,484 open reading frames (ORF) predicted by Glimmer 3.02, of which 2,352 (∼94.7%) were annotated by NCBI nr blast, 1,745 by COG database and 1,829 by KEGG database. 109 potential virulence factors were annotated in strain ZJ0906 and 3 of which are potentially related to antibiotic resistance. Strain ZJ0906 genome is ∼55 kilobases longer than SH0165 genome, with an extra 211 predicted ORFs. VFDB, ARDB, and PAIDB blast searches showed that ZJ0906 and SH0165 shared a nearly identical panel of potential virulence factors, drug resistant genes and four PAI-like regions which showed high homology to Enterococcus, Escherichia and Salmonella. Synteny analysis showed that gene rearrangements are frequent between the two strains, which may lead to variations in pathogenicity and cross-protection among serovars. KEGG pathway analyses showed strain ZJ0906 shared similar metabolic pathways to strain SH0165. Molecular identification of these genomic elements and potential virulence factors pave the way to the better understanding of mechanisms underlying metabolic capabilities and pathogenicity of H. parasuis and prospective vaccine targets besides the widely used method of inactivated bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3759607  PMID: 24023711
18.  Genotypic Diversity of Haemophilus parasuis Field Strains 
Haemophilus parasuis is the cause of Glässer's disease and other clinical disorders in pigs. It can also be isolated from the upper respiratory tracts of healthy pigs, and isolates can have significant differences in virulence. In this work, a partial sequence from the 60-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp60) gene was assessed as an epidemiological marker. We analyzed partial sequences of hsp60 and 16S rRNA genes from 103 strains of H. parasuis and other related species to obtain a better classification of the strains and examine the correlation with virulence. The results were compared with those obtained by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus PCR. Our results showed that hsp60 is a reliable marker for epidemiological studies of H. parasuis and that the analysis of its sequence is a better approach than fingerprinting methods. Furthermore, the analysis of the hsp60 and 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed the presence of a separate lineage of virulent strains and indicated the occurrence of lateral gene transfer among H. parasuis and Actinobacillus strains.
PMCID: PMC1489591  PMID: 16751506
19.  Interaction of Haemophilus parasuis with nasal and tracheal mucosa following intranasal inoculation of cesarean derived colostrum deprived (CDCD) swine. 
Twenty-three cesarean derived, colostrum deprived pigs were obtained at 5 wk of age and inoculated intranasally with either 1.4 x 10(8) colony forming units of Haemophilus parasuis or sterile phosphate buffered saline. Pigs were euthanized at 4, 8, 12, 18, 26, or 36 h post-inoculation and tissues from the oropharynx and respiratory tract were obtained for qualitative bacterial culture, immunohistochemistry for H. parasuis antigens, and light and transmission electron microscopy. Haemophilus parasuis was consistently isolated from the nasal cavity (17/17, 100%) and trachea (13/17, 76%) and rarely isolated from the lung (3/17, 18%) and blood stream (1/17, 6%) of infected pigs. Antigens of H. parasuis were sporadically detected on the nasal mucosa (6/17, 35%) and trachea (8/17, 47%). Light microscopic lesions included submucosal and intraepithelial infiltrates of neutrophils and infrequent, patchy loss of cilia. Ultrastructural changes in nasal mucosal epithelial cells included cell protrusion, loss of cilia, and dilation of the cytocavitary network. Bacteria were infrequently identified and were either within an amorphous material at the apical surface of the cilia or were between individual cilia. These results suggest H. parasuis associates with the nasal mucosa and can induce a suppurative rhinitis with nasal mucosal epithelial cell degeneration. This process may represent an initial event in the pathogenesis of H. parasuis infection of swine.
PMCID: PMC1189404  PMID: 9243000
20.  Prevalence and characterization of genotypic diversity of Haemophilus parasuis isolates from southern China 
From September 2008 to December 2010, 112 Haemophilus parasuis strains were isolated from 536 pigs with clinical signs of Glässer’s disease in South China, for a frequency of 21%. The 112 strains were subjected to serovar analysis by gel diffusion (GD) and indirect hemagglutination (IHA) tests and to genotype analysis by means of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). With a combination of the GD and IHA results, serovars 5 and 4 were found to be the most prevalent, at 23% and 17%, respectively, followed by serovars 2 (8%), 15 (7%), 13 (6%), and 12 (5%); 20% of the strains were nontypeable. The 112 strains were genetically diverse, with 85 genotypes identified (discriminatory index 0.992). The 89 typeable isolates belonged to 15 H. parasuis serovars displaying 63 different PFGE profiles. The 23 nontypeable strains displayed 22 different PFGE profiles. These findings confirmed that 15 serovars and diverse genotypes of H. parasuis were widely distributed in southern China.
PMCID: PMC3384287  PMID: 23277703
21.  Host-Pathogen Interactions of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae with Porcine Lung and Tracheal Epithelial Cells▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2009;77(4):1426-1441.
Host-pathogen interactions are of great importance in understanding the pathogenesis of infectious microorganisms. We developed in vitro models to study the host-pathogen interactions of porcine respiratory tract pathogens using two immortalized epithelial cell lines, namely, the newborn pig trachea (NPTr) and St. Jude porcine lung (SJPL) cell lines. We first studied the interactions of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, an important swine pathogen, using these models. Under conditions where cytotoxicity was absent or low, we showed that A. pleuropneumoniae adheres to both cell lines, stimulating the induction of NF-κB. The NPTr cells consequently secrete interleukin 8, while the SJPL cells do not, since they are deprived of the NF-κB p65 subunit. Cell death ultimately occurs by necrosis, not apoptosis. The transcriptomic profile of A. pleuropneumoniae was determined after contact with the porcine lung epithelial cells by using DNA microarrays. Genes such as tadB and rcpA, members of a putative adhesin locus, and a gene whose product has high homology to the Hsf autotransporter adhesin of Haemophilus influenzae were upregulated, as were the genes pgaBC, involved in biofilm biosynthesis, while capsular polysaccharide-associated genes were downregulated. The in vitro models also proved to be efficient with other swine pathogens, such as Actinobacillus suis, Haemophilus parasuis, and Pasteurella multocida. Our results demonstrate that interactions of A. pleuropneumoniae with host epithelial cells seem to involve complex cross talk which results in regulation of various bacterial genes, including some coding for putative adhesins. Furthermore, our data demonstrate the potential of these in vitro models in studying the host-pathogen interactions of other porcine respiratory tract pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2663157  PMID: 19139196
22.  ERIC-PCR genotypic characterization of Haemophilus parasuis isolated from Brazilian swine 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2011;42(4):1420-1426.
Haemophilus parasuis infection, known as Glässer’s disease, is characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, arthritis and meningitis in piglets. Although traditional diagnosis is based on herd history, clinical signs, bacterial isolation and serotyping, the molecular-based methods are alternatives for species-specific tests and epidemiologic study. The aim of this study was to characterize H. parasuis strains isolated from different states of Brazil by serotyping, PCR and ERIC-PCR. Serotyping revealed serovar 4 as the most prevalent (24 %), followed by serovars 14 (14 %), 5 (12 %), 13 (8 %) and 2 (2 %), whereas 40 % of the strains were considered as non-typeable. From 50 strains tested 43 (86%) were positive to Group 1 vtaA gene that have been related to virulent strains of H.parasuis. ERIC-PCR was able to type isolates tested among 23 different patterns, including non-typeable strains. ERIC-PCR patterns were very heterogeneous and presented high similarity between strains of the same animal or farm origin. The results indicated ERIC-PCR as a valuable tool for typing H. parasuis isolates collected in Brazil.
PMCID: PMC3768743  PMID: 24031772
Haemophilus parasuis; Glässer disease; Genotyping; ERIC-PCR
23.  Effect of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection on the clearance of Haemophilus parasuis by porcine alveolar macrophages. 
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection in young piglets is frequently associated with secondary infection due to various pathogens, especially those of the respiratory tract. One of the most important mechanisms in respiratory diseases is related to the alteration of function of porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs). The objective of this study was to determine how PRRS virus infection affects the capabilities of PAMs in the phagocytosis and destruction of Haemophilus parasuis. Phagocytosis percentages were determined in vitro and ex vivo, after collected PAMs were directly exposed to the virus of if PAMs were collected from piglets previously infected with PRRSV. In vitro experiments demonstrated that H. parasuis uptake by PAMs is only increased in the early stages of PRRSV infection (2 h post-infection). In contrast, in the ex vivo experiments it was shown that PAMs from PRRSV-infected piglets do not seem to change in their phagocytic rate until the later stages of infection. Together with a decrease in the phagocytic rate, a marked decrease in the functional ability of PAMs to kill bacteria was observed 7 d post-infection. It is hypothesized that when animals are exposed to PRRSV, there is a marked decrease in the functional ability of PAMs to kill bacteria through the release of superoxide anion, indicating a possible negative effect of the virus, at least at the macrophage level.
PMCID: PMC1189490  PMID: 9798089
24.  Identification of a Novel Haemophilus parasuis-Specific B Cell Epitope Using Monoclonal Antibody against the OppA Protein 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84516.
Monoclonal antibody (MAb) 1B3 against Haemophilus parasuis (H. parasuis) was generated by fusing SP2/0 murine myeloma cells and spleen cells from BALB/c mice immunized with the whole-bacterial-cell suspension of H. parasuis HS80 (serotype 5). The MAb 1B3 showed strong reactivity with 15 serotype reference strains of H. parasuis using Dot blot and Western blot analysis. Immunoprecipitation and protein spectral analysis indicated that MAb 1B3 recognized by Oligopeptide permease A (OppA) belongs to the ATP binding cassette transporter family. In addition, a linear B-cell epitope recognized by MAb 1B3 was identified by the screening of a phage-displayed 12-mer random peptide library. Sequence analysis showed that MAb 1B3 was recognized by phages-displaying peptides with the consensus motif KTPSEXR (X means variable amino acids). Its amino acid sequence matched 469KTPAEAR475 of H. parasuis OppA protein. A series of progressively truncated peptides were synthesized to define the minimal region that was required for MAb 1B3 binding. The epitope was highly conserved in OppA protein sequences from the isolated H. parasuis strains, which was confirmed by alignment analysis. Furthermore, the minimal linear epitope was highly specific among 75 different bacterial strains as shown in sequence alignments. These results indicated MAb 1B3 might be potentially used to develop serological diagnostic tools for H. parasuis.
PMCID: PMC3887010  PMID: 24416241
25.  Program of vaccination and antibiotic treatment to control polyserositis caused by Haemophilus parasuis under field conditions 
The present study investigated the effects of vaccinating sows and piglets or piglets alone against Haemophilus parasuis on the prevalence of H. parasuis in nasal swabs, on the humoral and cellular immune responses, and on the production parameters of piglets at 3 Korean farms with a clinical history of polyserositis caused by H. parasuis. Piglets born to vaccinated or non-vaccinated sows were subdivided into 3 groups: vaccinated sows and vaccinated pigs (VS-VP), non-vaccinated sows and vaccinated pigs (NVS-VP), and non-vaccinated sows and non-vaccinated pigs (NVS-NVP). The proportion of piglets with positive nasal swabs was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in the vaccinated animals (VS-VP and NVS-VP groups) than in the non-vaccinated animals (NVS-NVP group) at 35 and 60 d of age at the 3 farms. The overall growth performance (from 7 to 60 d of age) of the vaccinated piglets was significantly better (P < 0.05) than that of the non-vaccinated piglets at the 3 farms. Piglets in the VS-VP group had significantly higher levels (P < 0.05) of H. parasuis-specific IgG antibodies, lymphocyte proliferation, and interferon-γ-secreting cells than piglets in the NVS-VP and NVS-NVP groups on days 1, 7, 21, 35, and 60 after birth at the 3 farms.
PMCID: PMC3700443  PMID: 24101794

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