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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #218994

Title: Sialic Acid Uptake Is Necessary for Virulence of Pasteurella multocida in turkeys

item Tatum, Fred
item Tabatabai, Louisa
item Briggs, Robert

Submitted to: Microbial Pathogenesis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/12/2009
Publication Date: 6/5/2009
Citation: Tatum, F.M., Tabatabai, L.B., Briggs, R.E. 2009. Sialic Acid uptake is necessary for virulence of Pasteurella multocida in turkeys. Microbial Pathogenesis. 46(6):337-344.

Interpretive Summary: Pasteurella multocida is an economically important bacterial pathogen of the poultry industry and is the agent that causes fowl cholera. A study was undertaken to investigate the role that uptake of a specific sugar (sialic acid) obtained from host tissues has on the virulence of this pathogen. We found that inactivating P. multocida sialic acid uptake significantly reduced the ability of the organism to cause death in turkeys. These results showed sialic acid uptake is important for survival of the pathogen within the host.

Technical Abstract: Many pathogenic bacteria employ systems to incorporate sialic acid into their membranes as a means of protection against host defense mechanisms. Pasteurella multocida is an opportunistic pathogen which causes diseases of economic importance in a wide range of animal species and sialic acid uptake plays a role in systemic pasteurellosis in the mouse model. Here we report construction of an in-frame sialic acid uptake mutant of an avian strain of P. multocida P-1059 (A:3). The mutant and the parent were assessed for virulence in turkeys. Inactivation of sialic acid uptake resulted in a high degree of attenuation when turkeys were challenged either intranasally or intravenously. Resistance of the sialic acid uptake mutant to killing by turkey serum complement was similar that of the parent suggesting other mechanisms are responsible for attenuation of virulence in turkeys.