Lipopolysaccharide of Coxiella burnetii

Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (volume 984)

Abstract

A lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is considered to be one of the major determinants of virulence expression and infection of virulent Coxiella burnetii. The LPSs from virulent phase I (LPS I) and from avirulent phase II (LPS II) bacteria were investigated for their chemical composition, structure and biological properties. LPS II is of rough (R) type in contrast to LPS I, which is phenotypically smooth (S) and contains a noticeable amount of two sugars virenose (Vir) and dihydrohydroxystreptose (Strep), which have not been found in other LPSs and can be considered as unique biomarkers of the bacterium. Both sugars were suggested to be located mostly in terminal positions of the O-specific chain of LPS I (O-PS I) and to be involved in the immunobiology of Q fever. There is a need to establish a more detailed chemical structure of LPS I in connection with prospective, deeper studies on mechanisms of pathogenesis and immunity of Q fever, its early and reliable diagnosis, and effective prophylaxis against the disease. This will also help to better understanding of host-pathogen interactions and contribute to improved modulation of pathological reactions which in turn are prerequisite for research and development of vaccines of new type. A fundamental understanding of C. burnetii LPS biosynthesis is still lacking. The intracellular nature of the bacterium, lack of genetic tools and its status as a selected agent have made elucidating basic physiological mechanisms challenging. The GDP-β-D-Vir biosynthetic pathway proposed most recently is an important initial step in this endeavour. The current advanced technologies providing the genetic tools necessary to screen C. burnetii mutants and propagate isogenic mutants might speed the discovery process.

Keywords

Coxiella burnetii Biosynthesis Function Lipopolysaccharide Q fever Structure 

Notes

Acknowledgement

This research was supported in part by the grant 2/0026/12 from the Scientific Grant Agency of Ministry of Education of Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center Department of Microbial and Molecular PathogenesisTexas A&M University Health ScienceCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory for Diagnosis and Prevention of Rickettsial and Chlamydial InfectionsInstitute of Virology, Slovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia

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