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The Brucella abortus vaccine strain B19 carries a deletion in the erythritol catabolic genes

Félix J. Sangari , Juan M. García-Lobo , Jesús Agüero
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.1994.tb07123.x 337-342 First published online: 1 September 1994


Brucella abortus B19, an avirulent strain obtained by spontaneous mutation, is used worldwide as a vaccine for the control of bovine brucellosis. B19 differs from other B. abortus strains in its sensitivity to erythritol. We took advantage of a previously obtained erythritol sensitive Tn5 insertion mutant of B. abortus 2308 to clone the chromosomal region containing erythritol catabolic genes from this representative pathogenic strain and from the vaccine strain B19. Physical mapping with restriction endonucleases and nucleotide sequence determination revealed the existence of a 702 bp long deletion, occurring between two short direct repeats, in the chromosome of B19. This deletion rendered the B19 strain sensitive to erythritol. Two oligonucleotides whose sequences flank this deletion provided an easy method to differentiate B19 from all other B. abortus isolates.

Key words
  • Brucella abortus B19
  • Erythritol
  • Polymerase chain reaction

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