Dermonecrotic toxin and tracheal cytotoxin, putative virulence factors of Bordetella avium

C. R. Gentry-Weeks, B. T. Cookson, W. E. Goldman, R. B. Rimler, S. B. Porter, R. Curtiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined Bordetella avium for virulence factors common to Bordetella pertussis, including pertussis toxin, filamentous hemagglutinin, adenylate cyclase, dermonecrotic toxin, and tracheal cytotoxin. B. avium produced a dermonecrotic toxin and a tracheal cytotoxin. The dermonecrotic toxin of B. avium is a 155,000-molecular-weight, heat-labile protein which was lethal for mice, guinea pigs, young chickens, and turkey poults and produced dermonecrosis when injected intradermally into guinea pigs, young chickens, and turkey poults and produced demonecrosis when injected intradermally into guinea pigs, chickens, and turkey poults. High-pressure liquid chromatography of B. avium culture supernatant fluid revealed the presence of a tracheal cytotoxin chemically identical to that produced by B. pertussis. B. avium isolates were negative for B. pertussis-like filamentous hemagglutinin and pertussis toxin when assayed with antibody against B. pertussis filamentous hemagglutinin and pertussis toxin. Furthermore, B. avium failed to induce the clustered CHO cell morphology characteristic of pertussis toxin. Adenylate cyclase assays indicated that B. avium does not produce an extracytoplasmic adenylate cyclase, even after passage through embryonated turkey eggs. Since production of virulence proteins by B. pertussis is regulated by growth in media containing nicotinamide or MgSO4 or by growth at reduced temperatures, we determined the effect of these supplements and growth conditions on production of dermonecrotic toxin by B. avium. Production of dermonecrotic toxin in B. avium was not altered by growth in media containing 100 μM FeSO4 or 500 μg of nicotinamide per ml or by growth at 25 or 42°C, but production was significantly decreased by growth in media containing 20 mM MgSO4 and slightly reduced by growth in media containing 500 μg of nicotinic acid per ml. These studies revealed that B. avium is similar to B. pertussis in that both species produce a dermonecrotic toxin and a tracheal cytotoxin and production of dermonecrotic toxin is regulated by nicotinamide and MgSO4. The presence of dermonecrotic toxin and tracheal cytotoxin in all Bordetella species indicates that these products may be important virulence factors in bordetellosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1698-1707
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume56
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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