Identification, Characterization, and Application of a Recombinant Antigen for the Serological Diagnosis of Feline Hemotropic Mycoplasma Infections

GA Wolf-Jäckel, C Jäckel, K Museux, K Hoelzle, S Tasker, H Lutz, R Hofmann-Lehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In felids, three hemotropic mycoplasma species (hemoplasmas) have been described: Mycoplasma haemofelis, "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum," and "Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis." In particular, M. haemofelis may cause severe, potentially life-threatening hemolytic anemia. No routine serological assays for feline hemoplasma infections are available. Thus, the goal of our project was to identify and characterize an M. haemofelis antigen (DnaK) that subsequently could be applied as a recombinant antigen in a serological assay. The gene sequence of this protein was determined using consensus primers and blood samples from two naturally M. haemofelis-infected Swiss pet cats, an experimentally M. haemofelis-infected specific-pathogen-free cat, and a naturally M. haemofelis-infected Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). The M. haemofelis DnaK gene sequence showed the highest identity to an analogous protein of a porcine hemoplasma (72%). M. haemofelis DnaK was expressed recombinantly in an Escherichia coli DnaK knockout strain and purified using Ni affinity, size-exclusion, and anion-exchange chromatography. It then was biochemically and functionally characterized and showed characteristics typical for DnaKs (secondary structure profile, thermal denaturation, ATPase activity, and DnaK complementation). Moreover, its immunogenicity was assessed using serum samples from experimentally hemoplasma-infected cats. In Western blotting or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, it was recognized by sera from cats infected with M. haemofelis, "Ca. Mycoplasma haemominutum," and "Ca. Mycoplasma turicensis," respectively, but not from uninfected cats. This is the first description of a full-length purified recombinant feline hemoplasma antigen that can readily be applied in future pathogenesis studies and may have potential for application in a diagnostic serological test.
Translated title of the contributionIdentification, Characterization, and Application of a Recombinant Antigen for the Serological Diagnosis of Feline Hemotropic Mycoplasma Infections
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1917 - 1925
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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