Structural variability and originality of the Bordetella endotoxins

J Endotoxin Res. 2001;7(1):63-8.


Structural studies of Bordetella endotoxins (LPSs) have revealed remarkable differences: (i) between their LPSs and those of other bacterial pathogens; (ii) among the LPSs of the seven identified Bordetella species; and (iii) among the LPSs of some Bordetella strains. The lipid As have the "classical" bisphosphorylated diglucosamine backbone but tend to have fewer and species-specific fatty acid components compared to those of other genera. Nevertheless, three strains of B. bronchiseptica have at least three different fatty acid distributions; however, the recently identified B. hinzii and B. trematum LPSs had identical lipid A structures. The B. pertussis core is a dodecasaccharide multi-branched structure bearing amino and carboxylic groups. Another unusual feature is the presence of free amino sugars in the central core region and a complex distal trisaccharide unit containing five amino groups of which four are acetylated and one is methylated. The B. pertussis LPS does not have O-chains and that of B. trematum had only a single O-unit, unlike the LPSs of all the other species of the smooth-type. The O-chain-free cores of non-B. pertussis LPSs were always built on the B. pertussis core model but most were species-specifically incomplete. The LPS structures of three B. bronchiseptica strains were found to be different from each other. The O-chains of B. bronchiseptica and B. parapertussis were almost identical and had some features in common with B. hinzii O-chain. Serological analyses are consistent with the determined LPS structures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bordetella / genetics
  • Bordetella / immunology*
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Endotoxins / chemistry*
  • Endotoxins / genetics
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Lipid A / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure


  • Endotoxins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipid A