Risk assessment of transmission of capsule-deficient, recombinant Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is the etiologic agent of swine pleuropneumonia. Live, non-encapsulated vaccine strains have been shown to be efficacious in preventing acute disease in pigs. Recombinant DNA technology has the advantage of generating defined mutants that are safe, but maintain critical immunoprotective components. However, some recombinant strains have the disadvantage of containing antibiotic resistance genes that could be transferred to the animal's normal bacterial flora. Using DNA allelic exchange we have constructed attenuated, capsule-deficient mutants of A. pleuropneumoniae that contain a kanamycin resistance (KnR) gene within the capsule locus of the genome. Following intranasal or intratracheal challenge of pigs the encapsulated parent strains colonized the challenge pigs, and were transmitted to contact pigs. In contrast, the capsule-deficient mutants were recovered only from the challenged pigs and not from contact pigs. Each kanamycin-resistant colony type recovered from the respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts of pigs challenged with the recombinant strain was screened with a probe specific for the KnR gene. All probe-positive colonies were assayed for the specific KnR gene by amplification of a 0.9 kb fragment of the antibiotic resistance gene by PCR. The 0.9 kb fragment was amplified from the recombinant A. pleuropneumoniae colonies, but not from any of the heterologous bacteria, indicating there was no evidence of transmission of the KnR gene to resident bacteria. Following aerosol exposure of 276 pigs with recombinant, non-encapsulated A. pleuropneumoniae the recombinant bacteria were not recovered from any nasal swabs of 75 pigs tested or environmental samples 18 h after challenge. Statistical risk analysis, based on the number of kanamycin-resistant colonies screened, indicated that undetected transmission of the KnR gene could still have occurred in at most 1.36% of kanamycin-resistant bacteria in contact with recombinant A. pleuropneumoniae. However, the overall risk of transmission to any resident bacteria was far lower. Our results indicate there was little risk of transmission of capsule-deficient, recombinant A. pleuropneumoniae or its KnR gene to contact pigs or to the resident microflora.
Thomas J. Inzana, Gretchen Glindemann, Brad Fenwick, Janice Longstreth, and Daniel Ward. "Risk assessment of transmission of capsule-deficient, recombinant Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae" Veterinary Microbiology 104 (2004): 63-71.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/brad_fenwick1/3
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