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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946

Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo vol.31 no.5 São Paulo Oct. 1989

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-46651989000500001 

ORIGINAL ARTICLES

 

Plasmid composition and virulence-associated factors of Yersinia pestis isolates from a plague outbreak at the Paraíba State, Brazil (1)

 

Composição plasmidial e fatores associados à virulência em cepas de Yersinia pestis de um surto de peste no Estado da Paraíba, Brasil

 

 

Nilma Cintra LealI; Alzira Maria Paiva de AlmeidaI; Luís Carlos de Souza FerreiraII

ICentro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães. Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
IILaboratório de Imunopatologia Keizo Asami and Departamento de Biofísica e Radiobiologia. Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Address for correspondence

 

 


SUMMARY

Pathogenic Yersinia pestis isolates were collected during a plague outbreak at the Paraiba State in 1986. The Y. pestis isolates were investigated for the presence of virulence-associated factors and plasmid content. All strains analysed were proficient in the expression of the VW and fraction 1 antigens, pigment adsorption and pesticin-fibronolysin-coagulase production. A similar plasmid profile composed by four plasmid with molecular weight of 60, 44, 14.9, and 6.4 Megadaltons (MD) was found in all strains. DNA cleavage with EcoRI restriction enzyme further demonstrated the uniform plasmid content of the Y. pestis isolates. Seven additional Y. pestis strains, previously isolated in the same region but in an endemic state, showed the same plasmid fingerprint. The lack of any detectable difference between epidemic and endemic isolates as well as the value of plasmid fingerprints in epidemiology of Y. pestis is discussed.

Key words: Yersinia pestis, plasmids, virulence-associated factors.


RESUMO

Cepas patogênicas de Yersinia pestis foram coletadas durante um surto de peste no Estado da Paraíba em 1986. Os isolados de Y. pestis foram analisados quanto a presença de fatores associados à virulência e conteúdo plasmidial. Todas as linhagens analisadas foram proficientes na expressão dos antígenos VW e fração 1, além de possuírem capacidade de adsorção de pigmentos e produção de pesticina-fibrinolisina-coagulase. Um perfil plasmidial semelhante composto por quatro plasmídeos com peso molecular de 60, 44, 14.9, e 6.4 MD foi encontrado em todas as linhagens. A clivagem do DNA plasmidial com a enzima de restrição EcoRI demonstrou o conteúdo plasmidial uniforme dos isolados de Y. pestis. Sete outras linhagens de Y. pestis, isoladas previamente no mesmo local mas em condição endêmica, mostraram o mesmo perfil plasmidial. A falta de diferenças entre os isolados epidêmicos e endêmicos assim como o uso do perfil plasmidial na epidemiologic de Y. pestis e discutida.


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are greatly indebted to Dr. R. Brubaker for the important advises on plasmid isolation procedure and to Mr. S. H. Almeida and Mrs. Y. Nakasawa for helpful technical assistance.

 

REFERENCES

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Address for correspondence:
Dr. L. C. S. Ferreira
Laboratório de Imunopatologia Keizo Asami
Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Cidade Universitária
50739 Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Recebido para publicação em 1/2/1989.

 

 

(1) Research supported by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Brazilian National Research Council.

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