Endotoxins are lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and major constituents of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Bordetella pertussis LPS were the only major antigens, of this agent of whooping-cough, that were not yet analyzed on isolates from the pre- and post-vaccination era. We compared here the LPS structures of four clinical isolates with that of the vaccine strain BP 1414. All physico-chemical analyses, including SDS-PAGE, TLC, and different MALDI mass spectrometry approaches were convergent. They helped demonstrating that, on the contrary to some other B. pertussis major antigens, no modification occurred in the dodecasaccharide core structure, as well as in the whole LPS molecules. These results are rendering these major antigens good potential vaccine components. Molecular modeling of this conserved LPS structure also confirmed the conclusions of previous experiments leading to the production of anti-LPS monoclonal antibodies and defining the main epitopes of these major antigens.
Keywords: Bordetella pertussis; Clinical isolates; Evolution; Lipopolysaccharides; Structure; Vaccine.
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