The Bordetella Bps Polysaccharide Is Required for Biofilm Formation and Enhances Survival in the Lower Respiratory Tract of Swine

Infect Immun. 2017 Jul 19;85(8):e00261-17. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00261-17. Print 2017 Aug.


Bordetella bronchiseptica is pervasive in swine populations and plays multiple roles in respiratory disease. Additionally, B. bronchiseptica is capable of establishing long-term or chronic infections in swine. Bacterial biofilms are increasingly recognized as important contributors to chronic bacterial infections. Recently the polysaccharide locus bpsABCD has been demonstrated to serve a critical role in the development of mature biofilms formed by the sequenced laboratory strain of B. bronchiseptica We hypothesized that swine isolates would also have the ability to form mature biofilms and the bpsABCD locus would serve a key role in this process. A mutant containing an in-frame deletion of the bpsABCD structural genes was constructed in a wild-type swine isolate and found to be negative for poly-N-acetylglucosamine (PNAG)-like material by immunoblot assay. Further, the bpsABCD locus was found to be required for the development and maintenance of the three-dimensional structures under continuous-flow conditions. To investigate the contribution of the bpsABCD locus to the pathogenesis of B. bronchiseptica in swine, the KM22Δbps mutant was compared to the wild-type swine isolate for the ability to colonize and cause disease in pigs. The bpsABCD locus was found to not be required for persistence in the upper respiratory tract of swine. Additionally, the bpsABCD locus did not affect the development of anti-Bordetella humoral immunity, did not contribute to disease severity, and did not mediate protection from complement-mediated killing. However, the bpsABCD locus was found to enhance survival in the lower respiratory tract of swine.

Keywords: Bordetella; biofilms.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Bordetella Infections / immunology
  • Bordetella Infections / microbiology*
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / chemistry
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / genetics
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / immunology
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / pathogenicity*
  • Bronchi / microbiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Mutation
  • Nose / microbiology
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Swine
  • Trachea / microbiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial