Characterization of the Capsular Polysaccharide of Haemophilus parasuis and its Application in the Diagnosis and Prevention of Glasser's Disease
Hyman, Anne Catherine Michalenka
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Haemophilus parasuis is a Gram-negative bacterium responsible for Glasser's Disease in pigs, though little is known regarding its antigenic or virulence factors. Our goals were to characterize the H. parasuis capsular polysaccharide (CP), determine its role in serotype-specificity and virulence, determine if CP is immunogenic, and develop diagnostic and protective products to prevent rampant H. parasuis infection within swine herds. Material from H. parasuis was purified using carbohydrate isolation techniques and compared to CPs from other Pasteurellaceae. Rabbits were immunized with CPs to generate antisera for microscopy, immunoassays, and bactericidal assays. CP antisera were conjugated to latex particles to create an agglutination assay for detection and typing of H. parasuis. CP was conjugated to Cholera Toxin B, and used to immunize mice and piglets before challenge with H. parasuis to determine its protective efficacy against Glasser's Disease. Broth-grown cells expressed CP, which reacted with antisera in microscopy and immunoassays. Broth-grown H. parasuis cells were serum-resistant unless homologous anti-CP serum was present. In contrast, agar-grown cells did not react with antisera in immunoassays, and cells were susceptible to killing by normal swine serum. CP was not expressed on the surface of agar-grown cells unless supplemented with bicarbonate. The addition of bicarbonate also contributed to the variability in CP quantity and upregulation of genes in the CP locus. Sensitized latex particles agglutinated strongest with homologous H. parasuis CPs, cells, and agar-grown cell lysates, but also reacted weakly with higher concentrations of heterologous CPs. The latex beads did not agglutinate with non-H. parasuis swine bacterial pathogens. Mice immunized with the CP-CTB conjugate produced a significantly higher IgG2/Th2 response than unimmunized mice or mice immunized with only CP, and immunized mice had fewer bacteria in their tissues that unimmunized mice. The CP conjugate produced a robust IgG antibody response to CP when used to immunized piglets, but because the control animals also survived H. parasuis challenge, the protective efficacy remains inconclusive. Therefore, the H. parasuis CP is the antigen that confers serotype identity, and can be implemented in methods and help direct future research in disease prevention and serotype tracking in H. parasuis infections.
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