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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antigenic divergence suggested by correlation between antigenic variation and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles of Bordetella pertussis isolates in Japan.

Antigenic divergence has been found between Bordetella pertussis vaccine strains and circulating strains in several countries. In the present study, we analyzed B. pertussis isolates collected in Japan from 1988 to 2001 using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and sequencing of two virulence-associated proteins. The 107 isolates were classified into three major groups by PFGE analysis; 87 (81%) were type A, 19 (18%) were type B, and 1 (1%) was type C. Sequence analysis of the S1 subunit of pertussis toxin (ptxS1) and adhesion pertactin ( prn) genes revealed the presence of two (ptxS1A and ptxS1B) and three (prn1, prn2, and prn3) variants, respectively, in the isolates. Among those isolates, 82 (95%) of the 87 type A strains and the type C strain had the same combination of ptxS1B and prn1 alleles (ptxS1B/prn1) as the Japanese vaccine strain. On the other hand, 17 (90%) of 19 type B strains had an allele (ptxS1A/prn2) distinct from that of the vaccine strain. A correlation was found between the antigenic variation and the PFGE profile in the isolates. In addition, the frequency of the type B strain was 0, 27, 0, 42, and 37% of the isolates in the periods 1988 to 1993, 1994 to 1995, 1996 to 1997, 1998 to 1999, and 2000 to 2001, respectively. In contrast, the number of reported pertussis-like and pertussis cases decreased gradually from 1991 on, suggesting that the antigenic divergence did not affect the efficacy of pertussis vaccination in Japan.[1]


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