In silico prediction of Gallibacterium anatis pan-immunogens

Vet Res. 2014 Aug 8;45(1):80. doi: 10.1186/s13567-014-0080-0.


The Gram-negative bacterium Gallibacterium anatis is a major cause of salpingitis and peritonitis in commercial egg-layers, leading to reduced egg production and increased mortality. Unfortunately, widespread multidrug resistance and antigenic diversity makes it difficult to control infections and novel prevention strategies are urgently needed. In this study, a pan-genomic reverse vaccinology (RV) approach was used to identify potential vaccine candidates. Firstly, the genomes of 10 selected Gallibacterium strains were analyzed and proteins selected on the following criteria; predicted surface-exposure or secretion, none or one transmembrane helix (TMH), and presence in six or more of the 10 genomes. In total, 42 proteins were selected. The genes encoding 27 of these proteins were successfully cloned in Escherichia coli and the proteins expressed and purified. To reduce the number of vaccine candidates for in vivo testing, each of the purified recombinant proteins was screened by ELISA for their ability to elicit a significant serological response with serum from chickens that had been infected with G. anatis. Additionally, an in silico prediction of the protective potential was carried out based on a protein property prediction method. Of the 27 proteins, two novel putative immunogens were identified; Gab_1309 and Gab_2312. Moreover, three previously characterized virulence factors; GtxA, FlfA and Gab_2156, were identified. Thus, by combining the pan-genomic RV approach with subsequent in vitro and in silico screening, we have narrowed down the pan-proteome of G. anatis to five vaccine candidates. Importantly, preliminary immunization trials indicated an in vivo protective potential of GtxA-N, FlfA and Gab_1309.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / genetics*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology
  • Chickens
  • Computer Simulation
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Pasteurellaceae / genetics*
  • Pasteurellaceae / immunology*
  • Pasteurellaceae / metabolism
  • Pasteurellaceae / pathogenicity
  • Pasteurellaceae Infections / immunology
  • Pasteurellaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Pasteurellaceae Infections / prevention & control
  • Pasteurellaceae Infections / veterinary*
  • Poultry Diseases / immunology
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology
  • Poultry Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Virulence Factors


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Virulence Factors