Invasion of endothelial cells by systemic and nasal strains of Haemophilus parasuis

Invasion of endothelial cells is a virulence mechanism of H. parasuis that may be related to the ability of some strains to cause meningitis. This is one of the conclusions obtained by Dr Virginia Aragon from a collaborative study conducted with researchers from Université de Montréal. 

H. parasuis is a respiratory commensal in healthy piglets, but can also produce invasive disease and meningitis, which requires the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier.  

The present study determined the capacity of well-characterised virulent and non-virulent strains of H. parasuis, as well as other field strains, to adhere to and invade PBMEC/C1-2 endothelial cells.

The groups of research involved were the Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA-IRTA), Groupe de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses du Porc (GREMIP) and Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Porcine (CRIP), Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal. This collaboration was possible due to the ERTC-Quebec grant awarded to Dr Virginia Aragon (AGAUR) for studying in Canada the mechanisms of pathogenicity of H. parasuis.

Conclusions obtained from this study have been published as a short communication (Invasion of endothelial cells by systemic and nasal strains of Haemophilus parasuis. Aragon V, Bouchet B, Gottschalk M. Vet J. 2009 Sep 1)”:
  • Virulent strains were isolated from systemic lesions, conformed to the systemic clade on multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and were phagocytosis- and serum-resistanti.
  • Non-virulent strains were isolated from the nostrils of healthy piglets, belonged to the nasal clade on MLST and were phagocytosis- and serum-sensitive.
  • Virulent strains were mostly more invasive than non-virulent strains, although one virulent strain was unable to invade. Invasion of endothelial cells is a virulence mechanism of H. parasuis that may be related to the ability of some strains to cause meningitis.

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To contact the author of this paper:

Dr. Virginia Aragón Fernández
Investigator
Bacterial Diseases Unit
E-mail: virginia.aragon@cresa.uab.cat
Telephone no.: +34 93 581 44 94
Fax: +34 93 581 44 90
Edifici CReSA. Campus UAB
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) Spain

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