Generation and evaluation of a Glaesserella (Haemophilus) parasuis capsular mutant

Eberle, K C and Hau, S J and Luan, S-L and Weinert, L A and Stasko, J A and Wang, J and Peters, S E and Langford, P R and Rycroft, A N and Wren, B W and Maskell, D J and Tucker, A W and Brockmeier, S L (2020) Generation and evaluation of a Glaesserella (Haemophilus) parasuis capsular mutant. INFECTION AND IMMUNITY.

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Abstract

Glaesserella (Haemophilus) parasuis is a commensal of the upper respiratory tract in pigs and also the causative agent of Glässer's disease, which causes significant morbidity and mortality in pigs worldwide. Isolates are characterized into 15 serovars by their capsular polysaccharide, which has shown a correlation to isolate pathogenicity. To investigate the role capsule plays in G. parasuis virulence and host interaction, a capsule mutant of the serovar 5 strain HS069 was generated (HS069Δcap) through allelic exchange following natural transformation. HS069Δcap was unable to cause signs of systemic disease during a pig challenge study and had increased sensitivity to complement killing and phagocytosis by alveolar macrophages. When compared to the parent strain, HS069Δcap produced more robust biofilm and adhered equivalently to 3D4/31 cells; however, it was unable to persistently colonize the nasal cavity of inoculated pigs, with all pigs clearing HS069Δcap by 5 days post-challenge. Our results indicate the importance of capsular polysaccharide to G. parasuis virulence as well as nasal colonization in pigs.