Colibacillosis, caused by avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC), is an extraintestinal disease that causes great economic loss to the poultry industry each year. APEC must overcome host defenses, such as immune system components found in serum, in order to establish infection; however, the mechanism of such serum resistance has been elusive. In the present study, a proteomic approach was used to evaluate APEC proteins that were differentially expressed after exposure to chicken serum to identify specific proteins that may be involved in serum resistance of APEC isolates. Proteins were isolated and separated by two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis, and 10 protein spots corresponding to differentially expressed proteins were chosen for sequencing using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Eight proteins were identified among the spots, some of which have previously been associated with the virulence of E. coli. Significantly, an outer-membrane protein previously associated with serum resistance, OmpA, was among those proteins identified, further indicating that differential regulation of this protein may be involved in serum resistance. This study opens the door to future research using a proteomic approach to identify the key players in serum resistance of APEC.
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Vol. 52 • No. 1