Bordetella bronchiseptica adherence to cilia is mediated by multiple adhesin factors and blocked by surfactant protein A

Jessica A. Edwards, Nathan A. Groathouse, Scott Boitano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


In the virulent state (Bvg+), Bordetella bronchiseptica expresses adhesins and toxins that mediate adherence to the upper airway epithelium, an essential early step in pathogenesis. In this study, we used a rabbit tracheal epithelial cell binding assay to test how specific host or pathogen factors contribute to ciliary binding. The host antimicrobial agent surfactant protein A (SP-A) effectively reduced ciliary binding by Bvg + B. bronchiseptica. To evaluate the relative contributions of bacterial adhesins and toxins to ciliary binding, we used mutant strains of B. bronchiseptica in the binding assay. When compared to Bvg+ or Bvg- phase-locked B. bronchiseptica strains, single-knockout strains lacking one of the known adhesins (filamentous hemagglutinin, pertactin, or fimbriae) displayed an intermediate ciliary binding capacity throughout the coincubation. A B. bronchiseptica strain deficient in adenylate cyclase-hemolysin toxin also displayed an intermediate level of adherence between Bvg+ and Bvg- strains and had the lowest ciliary affinity of any of the Bvg+ phase strains tested. A B. bronchiseptica strain that was missing dermonecrotic toxin also displayed intermediate binding; however, this strain displayed ciliary binding significantly higher than most of the adhesin knockouts tested. Taken together, these findings suggest that virulent-state B. bronchiseptica expresses multiple adhesins with overlapping contributions to ciliary adhesion and that host production of SP-A can provide innate immunity by blocking bacterial adherence to the ciliated epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3618-3626
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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