Surface array proteins of Campylobacter fetus block lectin-mediated binding to type A lipopolysaccharide.
Campylobacter fetus strains with type A lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and a surface array protein layer (S+) have been found to be pathogenic in humans and animals. Spontaneous laboratory mutants that lack surface array proteins (S-) are sensitive to the bactericidal activity of normal human serum. The ability of lectins to determine the presence of the S-layer and differentiate LPS type was assessed. We screened 14 lectins and found 3 (wheat germ agglutinin, Bandeiraea simplicifolia II, and Helix pomatia agglutinin) that agglutinated S- C. fetus strains with type A LPS but not S- strains with type B or type C LPS or S+ strains. However, the S+ type A strains were agglutinated after sequential water extraction, heat, or pronase treatment, all of which remove the S-layer, whereas there was no effect on the control strains. Specific carbohydrates for each lectin and purified LPS from a type A C. fetus strain specifically inhibited agglutination of an S- type A strain. In a direct enzyme-linked lectin assay, binding to the S- type A LPS strain was significantly greater than binding to the S+ strain (P = 0.01) or to a Campylobacter jejuni strain (P = 0.008). Consequently, these results indicate that the three lectins bind to the O side chains of C. fetus type A LPS but that the presence of the S-layer on intact cells blocks binding.
Fogg, GC; Yang, LY; Wang, E; Blaser, MJ
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