Bordetella bronchiseptica and Bordetella parapertussis express a surface polysaccharide, attached to a lipopolysaccharide, which has been called O antigen. This structure is absent from Bordetella pertussis. We report the identification of a large genetic locus in B. bronchiseptica and B. parapertussis that is required for O-antigen biosynthesis. The locus is replaced by an insertion sequence in B. pertussis, explaining the lack of O-antigen biosynthesis in this species. The DNA sequence of the B. bronchiseptica locus has been determined and the presence of 21 open reading frames has been revealed. We have ascribed putative functions to many of these open reading frames based on database searches. Mutations in the locus in B. bronchiseptica and B. parapertussis prevent O-antigen biosynthesis and provide tools for the study of the role of O antigen in infections caused by these bacteria.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Infection and immunity|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|