Evaluation of immunogenicity and protective efficacy of recombinant ptfA of avian Pasteurella multocida

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)


Department of Biotechnology, College of Food and Bioengineering, Henan University of Science and Technology, Henan Engineering Laboratory of Livestock Disease Diagnosing and Food Safety Testing, Luoyang, 471023, China


Avian Pasteurella multocida is the causative agent of fowl cholera, a disease much affecting the poultry industry. In order to study the efficacy of the recombinant subunit vaccine constructed with ptfA gene of avian P. multocida, the ptfA gene fragment amplified by PCR from avian P. multocida was cloned into the prokaryotic expression vector pET32a and the recombinant plasmid pET32a-ptfA was obtained. The pET32a-ptfA was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) and the target protein rPtfA was purified. The purified protein was then mixed with Freund’s adjuvant and the recombinant subunit vaccine was obtained. Three groups of chickens labeled as rPtfA, attenuated live vaccine and PBS were vaccinated with the recombinant subunit vaccine, attenuated live vaccine and PBS, respectively. Serum antibodies, peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation (PBLP) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) level secreted by peripheral blood lymphocyte were tested. The immunized chickens were finally challenged with virulent avian P. multocida and the protection rate was counted. Indirect ELISA showed the levels of antibodies in rPtfA and attenuated vaccine groups were most significantly higher than the other groups (P<0.01), and the former was slightly lower than the latter. Peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation experiments and IFN-γ experiments indicated that SI value and the levels of IFN-γ induced by ConA in the two vaccine groups were significantly higher than those of the PBS groups (P<0.01), and that the attenuated vaccine group was higher than the rPtfA group. The protection rates of rPtfA and attenuated live vaccines were 45% and 75%, respectively. The results indicated that the PtfA recombinant subunit vaccine was capable of improving the immunity level and inducing a protective effect for the vaccinated chickens, but it was barely satisfactory.