Characterization of secreted proteases of Paenibacillus larvae, potential virulence factors involved in honeybee larval infection.J Invertebr Pathol. 2009 Oct; 102(2):129-32.JI
Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American Foulbrood (AFB), the most severe bacterial disease that affects honeybee larvae. AFB causes a significant decrease in the honeybee population affecting the beekeeping industry and agricultural production. After infection of larvae, P. larvae secretes proteases that could be involved in the pathogenicity. In the present article, we present the secretion of different proteases by P. larvae. Inhibition assays confirmed the presence of metalloproteases. Two different proteases patterns (PP1 and PP2) were identified in a collection of P. larvae isolates from different geographic origin. Forty nine percent of P. larvae isolates showed pattern PP1 while 51% exhibited pattern PP2. Most isolates belonging to genotype ERIC I - BOX A presented PP2, most isolates belonging to ERIC I - BOX C presented PP1 although relations were not significant. Isolates belonging to genotypes ERIC II and ERIC III presented PP2. No correlation was observed between the secreted proteases patterns and geographic distribution, since both patterns are widely distributed in Uruguay. According to exposure bioassays, isolates showing PP2 are more virulent than those showing PP1, suggesting that difference in pathogenicity could be related to the secretion of proteases.