Submitted to: Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2005
Citation: Parker, C., Horn, S.T., Gilbert, M., Miller, W.G., Woodward, D., Mandrell, R.E. Comparison of campylobacter jejuni los biosynthesis loci from a variety of sources. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 43:2771-2781. Interpretive Summary: The foodborne bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of acute bacterial gastroenteritis in humans and certain types are also associated with the development of Guillain-Barré and Miller-Fisher syndromes, two diseases that affect the peripheral nervous system. Localized on the cell-surface of C. jejuni is a complex structure called lipooligosaccharide (LOS). LOS exhibits structural variability between strains and certain LOS structures are the cause of the neurological disorders. The variability of LOS can be assessed by determining what genes that are involved in the synthesis of LOS are present or absent. In this scientific study, we determined the LOS biosynthesis gene content for a complete set of reference types of C. jejuni and a large group of human and animal related isolates.
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni strains exhibit significant variation in the genetic content of the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) biosynthesis loci with concomitant differences in LOS structure. The C. jejuni LOS loci have been grouped into six classes based on gene content and organization. Utilizing PCR-amplifications of genes from these loci, we were able to classify a majority (80%) of the LOS biosynthesis loci from 123 strains of C. jejuni that included 39 of the Penner serotype reference strains. We found that a particular LOS class was not always associated with a specific Penner serotype, and 14 of 16 Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)-associated isolates tested in this study shared the same LOS class. The remaining isolates that could not be classified were often distinguishable from each other, based on the results of gene-specific PCR and the length of their LOS biosynthesis loci as determined by long (XL) PCR. Sequence analysis of two of these unique XL PCR products demonstrated two new LOS classes. These results support the hypothesis that the LOS locus is a hot spot for genetic exchange and rearrangements. Analysis of the LOS biosynthesis genes by PCR assays can be used for typing C. jejuni and offers the advantage of inferring potential LOS structures