Evolution of Bordetella pertussis is driven by natural and vaccine pressures. Isolates circulating in regions with high vaccination coverage present multiple allelic and antigenic variations as compared to isolates collected before introduction of vaccination. Furthermore, during the last epidemics reported in regions using pertussis acellular vaccines, isolates deficient for vaccine antigens, such as pertactin (PRN), were reported to reach high proportions of circulating isolates. More sporadic filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) or pertussis toxin (PT) deficient isolates were also collected. The whole genome of some recent French isolates, deficient or non-deficient in vaccine antigens, were analyzed. Transcription profiles of the expression of the main virulence factors were also compared. The invasive phenotype in an in vitro human tracheal epithelial (HTE) cell model of infection was evaluated. Our genomic analysis focused on SNPs related to virulence genes known to be more likely to present allelic polymorphism. Transcriptomic data indicated that isolates circulating since the introduction of pertussis vaccines present lower transcription levels of the main virulence genes than the isolates of the pre-vaccine era. Furthermore, isolates not producing FHA present significantly higher expression levels of the entire set of genes tested. Finally, we observed that recent isolates are more invasive in HTE cells when compared to the reference strain, but no multiplication occurs within cells.
Authors:Bouchez V1,2, Hegerle N3,4, Strati F5,6, Njamkepo E7,8, Guiso N9,10.
Journal:Vaccines (Basel). 2015