© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Streptococcus uberis is a worldwide pathogen that causes intramammary infections in dairy cattle. Because virulence factors determining the pathogenicity of S. uberis have not been clearly identified so far, a commercial vaccine is not yet available. Different S. uberis strains have the ability to form biofilm in vitro, although the association of this kind of growth with the development of mastitis is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential use as vaccine antigens of proteins from S. uberis biofilms, previously identified by proteomic and immunological analyses. The capability of eliciting a protective immune response by targeted candidates was assayed on a murine model. Sera from rabbits immunized with S. uberis biofilm preparations and a convalescent cow intra-mammary infected with S. uberis were probed against cell wall proteins from biofilm and planktonic cells previously separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Using rabbit immunized serum, two proteins were found to be up-regulated in biofilm cells as compared to planktonic cells; when serum from the convalescent cow was used, up to sixteen biofilm proteins were detected. From these proteins, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase (FBA), and elongation factor Ts (EFTs) were chosen to be tested as vaccine antigen candidates. For this purpose, different groups of mice were immunized with the three recombinant-expressed proteins (each one formulated separately in a vaccine), and thereafter intraperitoneally challenged with S. uberis. The three proteins induced specific IgG antibodies, but a significant reduction of mortality was only observed in the groups of mice vaccinated with FBA or EFTs. These results suggest that FBA and EFTs might be considered as strong antigenic candidates for a vaccine against S. uberis bovine mastitis. Moreover, this is the first study to indicate that also in S. uberis, GAPDH, FBA and EFTs, as proteins detected in both cytoplasm and cell wall fractions, can play a second function (moonlighting), the latter being particularly involved in the virulence of such a pathogen organism.
- Streptococcus uberis