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1.  Use of tuf as a target for sequence-based identification of Gram-positive cocci of the genus Enterococcus, Streptococcus, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, and Lactococcus 
Accurate identification of isolates belonging to genus Enterococcus, Streptococcus, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, and Lactococcus at the species level is necessary to provide a better understanding of their pathogenic potential, to aid in making clinical decisions, and to conduct epidemiologic investigations,especially when large blind samples must be analyzed. It is useful to simultaneously identify species in different genera using a single primer pair.
We developed a primer pair based on the tuf gene (encoding elongation factor) sequence to identify 56 Gram-positive cocci isolates.
The target sequences were amplified from all 56 samples. The sequencing results and the phylogenetic tree derived from the partial tuf gene sequences identified the isolates as three enterococcal species, two lactococcal species, two staphylococcal species, and six streptococcal species, as well as eight isolates that were novel species of the genus Streptococcus. Partial gene sequence analysis of the sodA, dnaK, and 16S RNA genes confirmed the results obtained by tuf gene sequencing.
Based on the uniform amplification of the tuf gene from all samples and the ability to identify all isolates at both the genus and species levels, we conclude that the primer pair developed in this research provides a powerful tool for identifying these organisms in clinical laboratories where large blind samples are used.
PMCID: PMC3533577  PMID: 23181410
Enterococcus; Streptococcus; Staphylococcus; Lactococcus; tuf; species identification
2.  Development of a Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Serotype A Empty Capsid Subunit Vaccine Using Silkworm (Bombyx mori) Pupae 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43849.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious disease of cloven-hoofed animals that inflicts severe economic losses in the livestock industry. In 2009, FMDV serotype A caused outbreaks of FMD in cattle in China. Although an inactivated virus vaccine has proven effective to control FMD, its use may lead to new disease outbreaks due to a possible incomplete inactivation of the virus during the manufacturing process. Here, we expressed the P1-2A and the 3C coding regions of a serotype A FMDV field isolate in silkworm pupae (Bombyx mori) and evaluated the immunogenicity of the expression products. Four of five cattle vaccinated with these proteins developed high titers of FMDV-specific antibody and were completely protected against virulent homologous virus challenge with 10,000 50% bovine infectious doses (BID50). Furthermore, the 50% bovine protective dose (PD50) test was performed to assess the bovine potency of the empty capsid subunit vaccine and was shown to achieve 4.33 PD50 per dose. These data provide evidence that silkworm pupae can be used to express immunogenic FMDV proteins. This strategy might be used to develop a new generation of empty capsid subunit vaccines against a variety of diseases.
PMCID: PMC3428285  PMID: 22952788
3.  Molecular characterization of China rabies virus vaccine strain 
Virology Journal  2011;8:521.
Rabies virus (RV), the agent of rabies, can cause a severe encephalomyelitis in several species of mammals, including humans. As a human rabies vaccine strain employed in China, the genetic knowledge of the aG strain has not been fully studied. The main goal of the present study is to amplify the whole genome of aG strain, and genetic relationships between other vaccine strains and wild strains were analyzed.
The entire genome of human rabies virus vaccine strain aG employed in China was sequenced; this is the second rabies virus vaccine strain from China to be fully characterized. The overall organization and the length of the genome were similar to that of other lyssaviruses. The length of aG strain was 11925nt, comprising a leader sequence of 58nt, nucleoprotein (N) gene of 1353nt, phosphoprotein (P) gene of 894 nt, matrix protein (M) gene of 609nt, glycoprotein (G) gene of 1575nt, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp,L) gene of 6384nt, and a trailer region of 70 nt. There was TGAAAAAAA (TGA7) consensus sequence in the end of each gene, except AGA7 at the end of G gene. There was AACAYYYCT consensus start signal at the beginning of each gene.
In this report, we analyzed the full genome of China human rabies vaccine strain aG. Our studies indicated that the genome of aG retained the basic characteristics of RV. At gene level, N was the most conserved among the five coding genes, indicating this gene is the most appropriate for quantitative genotype definition. The phylogenetic analysis of the N indicated the aG strain clustered most closely with Japanese and Russian rabies vaccine strains, suggesting that they may share the same ancestor; also, the aG strain did not share high homology with wild strains isolated from China, making it may not be the best vaccine strain, more research is needed to elucidate the genetic relationship among the RV circulating in China.
PMCID: PMC3226571  PMID: 22093774
Rabies virus; aG; China; full-length genome
4.  Expression and antigenicity characterization for truncated capsid protein of porcine circovirus type 2 
Three pairs of specific primers were designed to amplify F2-1, F2-2, and XF2-2 truncated capsid protein genes of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2). Amplified sequences were subcloned to pET-32a(+) vectors and expressed in Rosetta (DE3) Escherichia coli by induction of isopropy-β-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG). All of the fusion proteins had positive reactions to PCV-2 antiserum and His-XF2-2 showed the best reactivity. Proteins were used to immunize BALB/c mice to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and 7 mAbs were selected. Capsid protein N-terminal parts 55 to 96 amino acid (aa), 97 to 141 aa, and 143 to 211 aa were confirmed as binding regions of the 7 mAbs. Reactivity between His-XF2-2 and the 7 mAbs was detected, FmAb-8 showed the best reactivity. The dominant B-cell epitope was located at 97 to 141 aa. The PEPSCAN indicated that the P122–136 peptide contained the dominant B-cell epitope.
PMCID: PMC3003564  PMID: 21461197

Results 1-4 (4)