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

Bovine plasma proteins increase virulence of Haemophilus somnus in mice.

The role of bovine serum or plasma proteins in Haemophilus somnus virulence was investigated in a mouse model of septicemia. An increase in virulence was detected when the organism was pre-incubated for 5min and inoculated with fetal calf serum. When purified bovine serum or plasma proteins were pre-incubated with H. somnus before inoculating into mice, transferrin was found to increase virulence. Bovine lactoferrin was also noted to increase virulence, but to a lesser extent and had a delayed time course when compared with transferrin. Using an ELISA assay, an increased amount of H. somnus whole cells and culture supernatant bound to bovine transferrin when the organism was grown in iron-restricted media. Lactoferrin also bound to H. somnus, but binding was not affected by growth in iron-restricted media and it was eliminated with 2M NaCl, which reversed charge mediated binding. Transferrin, but not lactoferrin, supported growth of H. somnus on iron-depleted agar based media using a disk assay. Therefore, lactoferrin increased virulence by an undetermined mechanism whereas transferrin increased virulence of H. somnus by binding to iron-regulated outer-membrane proteins (IROMPs) and providing iron to the pathogen.[1]


  1. Bovine plasma proteins increase virulence of Haemophilus somnus in mice. Geertsema, R.S., Kimball, R.A., Corbeil, L.B. Microb. Pathog. (2007) [Pubmed]
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