The identification of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae outer membrane proteins (OMPs) that may stimulate immunity to swine dysentery is important for vaccine development. We report here the analysis of a novel locus, blpGFEA, encoding four tandem paralogous proteins of ~30 kDa from B. hyodysenteriae. The four proteins share 31-39% sequence identity with lipoproteins from several species of bacterial pathogens, but the locus possesses a unique genetic organization. Using antisera raised to recombinant versions of each of these proteins, only BlpA and BlpE were found to be immunologically cross-reactive with the other proteins encoded by the locus. Northern hybridization indicated that only blpA was expressed under in vitro growth conditions. In addition, convalescent swine serum recognized recombinant BlpA in immunoblotting experiments, demonstrating that it is also expressed during infection. Analysis of the translated sequences of each of the genes revealed atypical spirochetal signal peptidase II recognition sites, and BlpA was shown to be a lipoprotein by incorporation of tritiated palmitic acid. Native BlpA was completely extracted by Triton X-114 (TX-114) and partitioned exclusively into the detergent phase during extraction of whole B. hyodysenteriae cells, implicating it as a component of the brachyspiral outer membrane. Consistent with the transcriptional and immunological data, analysis of the brachyspiral outer membrane proteome also revealed expression of only BlpA. Notably, inactivation of blpA homologs in Haemophilus influenzae and Salmonella enteritidis resulted in attenuation of virulence.
- Bacterial infections