Shift in S-layer protein expression responsible for antigenic variation in Campylobacter fetus

E. Wang, M. M. Garcia, M. S. Blake, Z. Pei, M. J. Blaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Campylobacter fetus strains possess regular paracrystalline surface layers (S-layers) composed of high-molecular-weight proteins and can change the size and crystalline structure of the predominant protein expressed. Polyclonal antisera demonstrate antigenic cross-reactivity among these proteins but suggest differences in epitopes. Monoclonal antibodies to the 97-kDa S-layer protein of Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus strain 82-40LP showed three different reactivities. Monoclonal antibody 1D1 recognized 97-kDa S-layer proteins from all C. fetus strains studied; reactivity of monoclonal antibody 6E4 was similar except for epitopes in S-layer proteins from reptile strains and strains with type B lipopolysaccharide. Monoclonal antibody 2E11 only recognized epitopes on S-layer proteins from strains with type A lipopolysaccharide regardless of size. In vitro shift from a 97-kDa S-layer protein to a 127-kDa S-layer protein resulted in different reactivity, indicating that size change was accompanied by antigenic variation. To examine in vivo variation, heifers were genitally challenged with Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis strains and the S-layer proteins from sequential isolates were characterized. Analysis with monoclonal antibodies showed that antigenic reactivities of the S-layer proteins were varied, indicating that these proteins represent a system for antigenic variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4979-4984
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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