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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685


FERREIRA, Henrique Bunselmeyer  and  CASTRO, Luiza Amaral de. A preliminary survey of M. hyopneumoniae virulence factors based on comparative genomic analysis. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2007, vol.30, n.1, suppl., pp.245-255. ISSN 1415-4757.

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is the etiological agent of porcine enzootic pneumonia (PEP), a major problem for the pig industry. The mechanisms of M. hyopneumoniae pathogenicity allow to predict the existence of several classes of virulence factors, whose study has been essentially restricted to the characterization of adhesion-related and major antigenic proteins. The now available complete sequences of the genomes of two pathogenic and one non-pathogenic strain of M. hyopneumoniae allowed to use a comparative genomics approach to putatively identify virulence genes. In this preliminary survey, we were able to identify 118 CDSs encoding putative virulence factors, based on specific criteria ranging from predicted cell surface location or variation between strains to previous functional studies showing antigenicity or involvement in host-pathogen interaction. This survey is expected to serve as a first step towards the functional characterization of new virulence genes/proteins that will be important not only for a better comprehension of M. hyopneumoniae biology, but also for the development of new and improved protocols for PEP vaccination, diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords : porcine enzootic pneumoniae; virulence; host-pathogen interaction; antigen; adhesin.

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