Genetic variability of Chlamydophila abortus strains assessed by PCR-RFLP analysis of polymorphic membrane protein-encoding genes

Michelle Sait, Ewan M. Clark, Nick M. Wheelhouse, Lucy Spalding, Morag Livingstone, Konrad Sachse, Bryan K. Markey, Simone Magnino, Victoria I. Siarkou, Evangelia Vretou, María R. Caro, Raja Yaga, Alex F. Lainson, David George Emslie Smith, Frank Wright, David Longbottom

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This study used PCR-RFLP to investigate the genetic variability of pmp-encoding genes from fifty-two Chlamydophila abortus (C. abortus) strains originating from abortion cases from various geographical regions and host species. Six primer pairs were used to PCR-amplify DNA fragments encoding eighteen pmps. PCR products were digested using four restriction endonucleases and Bayesian methodologies were used to compare RFLP profiles and assign strains to a RFLP genotype. Strains could be assigned to 2 genotypes in the region encoding pmp18D, 3 genotypes in the regions encoding pmp1A-pmp2B, pmp3E-pmp6H and pmp11G-pmp15G, 4 genotypes in the region encoding pmp7G-pmp10G and 5 genotypes in the region encoding pmp16G-pmp17G. In all regions, the majority of strains (88.4-96.1%) had the same genotype as the reference strain S26/3. No correlation could be made between genotype, host species or geographical origin except for the two variant Greek strains, LLG and POS, which formed a discrete genotype in all pmp-encoding regions except pmp18D. Relative rates of evolution calculated for each pmp-encoding gene locus suggest that differing selective pressures and functional constraints may exist on C. abortus polymorphic membrane proteins. These findings suggest that although intraspecies heterogeneity of pmp-encoding genes in C. abortus is low, the sequence heterogeneity should be an important consideration when using pmps as the basis for novel diagnostics or vaccine development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)284-290
    Number of pages7
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2011


    • Abortion, Veterinary
    • Animals
    • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
    • Base Sequence
    • Bayes Theorem
    • Chlamydophila
    • Chlamydophila Infections
    • DNA Primers
    • Female
    • Genetic Variation
    • Genotype
    • Geography
    • Livestock
    • Polymerase Chain Reaction
    • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
    • Pregnancy


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