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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

versión On-line ISSN 2219-0635
versión impresa ISSN 0030-2465


MEYBURGH, Cornelia M.; BRAGG, Robert R.  y  BOUCHER, Charlotte E.. Detection of virulence factors of South African Lactococcus garvieae isolated from rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2018, vol.85, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2219-0635.

Lactococcus garvieae is a Gram-positive bacterium that causes mortalities in freshwater and marine fish worldwide and therefore results in severe economic losses in the aquaculture industry. Apart from the apparent integral role of the exopolysaccharide (EPS) capsule in pathogenesis, factors associated with virulence of this bacterium are poorly understood. However, recent studies have indicated that the ability of L. garvieae to cause disease does not depend on the presence of the EPS capsule. Lack of knowledge of virulence factors, pathogenesis and serology of L. garvieae is an impediment to the development of effective typing methods and control measures. This study, therefore, aimed to detect the presence of EPS capsules and other putative virulence factors in South African L. garvieae fish pathogenic isolates and a non-virulent isolate, and to identify possible candidates for subunit vaccine development. No indication of the presence of the EPS capsule was detected by negative staining or amplification of the EPS biosynthesis gene cluster in the virulent isolates or the avirulent strain, discrediting the notion that the EPS capsule is the sole determinant of virulence. However, a set of putative virulence factor genes was detected in all isolates, and candidates for subunit vaccine development (enolase, lactate dehydrogenase phosphoenolpyruvate-protein phosphotransferase) were identified by identification of extracellular proteins of virulent strains.

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