Bordetella bronchiseptica is a respiratory pathogen in mammal species and its cell surface lipopolysaccharide-endotoxin is a potent virulence factor. In order to better characterize the endotoxin structure to virulence relationships, we studied the lipid A structures of B. bronchiseptica isolates from human and rabbit origins as a function of their virulence phases. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) has been widely used for the structural characterization of bacterial endotoxins and their lipid A moieties. This method combined with chemical analytical methods proved to be essential for the characterization of small samples and discrete but essential structural modifications. The occurrence of palmitate (C(16)) in the B. bronchiseptica lipid A structures is shown for the first time at two sites. Their presence was also demonstrated for the first time in correlation with the virulence phase of B. bronchiseptica clinical isolates. The recently identified glucosamine modifications of Bordetella lipids A are also reported in these isolates.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.