Genome sequence and identification of candidate vaccine antigens from the animal pathogen Dichelobacter nodosus

Nat Biotechnol. 2007 May;25(5):569-75. doi: 10.1038/nbt1302. Epub 2007 Apr 29.


Dichelobacter nodosus causes ovine footrot, a disease that leads to severe economic losses in the wool and meat industries. We sequenced its 1.4-Mb genome, the smallest known genome of an anaerobe. It differs markedly from small genomes of intracellular bacteria, retaining greater biosynthetic capabilities and lacking any evidence of extensive ongoing genome reduction. Comparative genomic microarray studies and bioinformatic analysis suggested that, despite its small size, almost 20% of the genome is derived from lateral gene transfer. Most of these regions seem to be associated with virulence. Metabolic reconstruction indicated unsuspected capabilities, including carbohydrate utilization, electron transfer and several aerobic pathways. Global transcriptional profiling and bioinformatic analysis enabled the prediction of virulence factors and cell surface proteins. Screening of these proteins against ovine antisera identified eight immunogenic proteins that are candidate antigens for a cross-protective vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / genetics
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Antigens / therapeutic use*
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods
  • Dichelobacter nodosus / genetics*
  • Dichelobacter nodosus / immunology
  • Dichelobacter nodosus / metabolism
  • Dichelobacter nodosus / pathogenicity*
  • Foot Rot / immunology*
  • Foot Rot / microbiology*
  • Foot Rot / prevention & control
  • Genome, Bacterial / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*


  • Antigens

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE5157
  • GEO/GSE5166