Adherence of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae to primary cultures of porcine lung epithelial cells.

B.K.H.L. Boekema, N. Stockhofe, H.E. Smith, E.M. Kamp, J.P. van Putten, J.H. Verheijden

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    To study adherence of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae to porcine lower respiratory epithelium, a cell culture model was developed using primary cultures of porcine lung epithelial cells (LEC). Adherence assays were performed and results were compared with data obtained with swine kidney cells (SK6). A. pleuropneumoniae efficiently adhered to LEC with up to 62 bacteria per cell after 2 h of incubation. Reference strain of serotype 3 (R3) adhered better to LEC than reference strains of serotypes 1 (R1), 7 (R7) and 8 (R8). Overall the adherence to LEC was more rapid and up to 30-fold more efficient than adherence to SK6 cells. In search for the mechanism involved in the adherence event, we tested the effect of LPS which has previously been demonstrated to cause adherence of the pathogen to upper respiratory epithelium. Adherence assays with LPS transposon mutants demonstrated unaltered (mutant with modification in core/lipid A moiety) or even three-fold more adherence (mutants lacking O antigen) compared to the parent micro-organisms. Purified LPS of strains R1, R3, R7 and R8 did not inhibit adherence of R8 to LEC either, suggesting that LPS and particularly the O-antigen are not essential for adherence of A. pleuropneumoniae to LEC. The efficient, LPS-independent adherence of A. pleuropneumoniae to LEC cells indicates that A. pleuropneumoniae may carry different, cell type-specific adhesins and that primary cultures of lower respiratory epithelium are valuable infection models in studying A. pleuropneumoniae pathogenesis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)133-144
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • respiratory-tract cells
    • pasteurella-multocida
    • rtx toxins
    • ii cells
    • lipopolysaccharides
    • pigs
    • virulence
    • neutrophils
    • serotype-1
    • adhesins

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