Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Molecular genetic analysis of virulence in Mannheimia (pasteurella) haemolytica
Academic Editor: Jeffrey Cirillo
Mannheimia haemolytica (previously known as Pasteurella haemolytica) is a weakly hemolytic, gram-negative coccobacillus that is an opportunistic pathogen of cattle, sheep and other ruminants. In stressed, immunocompromised animals, the organism causes a fibrinous, necrotic pneumonia, commonly called "shipping fever". In the United States, economic losses due to shipping fever pneumonia surpass the combined cost of all other diseases of cattle. M. haemolytica, which is a member of the family Pasteurelleaceae, includes twelve serotypes (A1, A2, A5-A9, A12-14, A16 and A17) based on capsular antigen typing. Worldwide, serotypes A1 and A2 predominate, though all serotypes can cause disease. Serotype A1 causes pasteurellosis in cattle and has been the subject extensive study, while serotype A2 causes disease in sheep and is less-well characterized. Potential virulence factors of M. haemolytica have been identified and characterized by gene cloning and DNA sequence analysis. These factors include a ruminant-specific leukotoxin, an anti-phagocytic capsule, lipopolysaccharide, iron-regulated outer membrane proteins, lipoproteins, a sialoglycoprotease, a neuraminidase and two potential immunoglobulin proteases. Unlike the well-characterized leukotoxin, little is known about the expression of these other virulence factors. Attempts to dissect the mechanisms of M. haemolytica pathogenesis have been hindered by the lack of a robust genetic system for mutation of the organism, though new tools for genetic manipulation of M. haemolytica have been developed. Expression plasmids and operon fusion plasmids have been created and a series of antibiotic resistance cassettes useful for site-specific recombination have been constructed. It is anticipated that use of these tools for gene expression and mutagenesis, in combination with the soon to be released genomic sequence of a serotype A1 organism, will aid in understanding the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of M. haemolytica and will help to drive development of new vaccines to prevent shipping fever.