Diversity of fimbrillin among Porphyromonas gulae clinical isolates from Japanese dogs

Ryota Nomura, Mitsuyuki Shirai, Yukio Kato, Masaru Murakami, Kazuhiko Nakano, Norihiko Hirai, Tetsuya Mizusawa, Shuhei Naka, Yoshie Yamasaki, Michiyo Matsumoto-Nakano, Takashi Ooshima, Fumitoshi Asai

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Porphyromonas gulae, a gram-negative black-pigmented anaerobe, is a pathogen for periodontitis in dogs. An approximately 41-kDa fimbrial subunit protein (FimA) encoded by fimA is regarded as associated with periodontitis. In the present study, the fimA genes of 17 P. gulae strains were sequenced, and classified into two major types. The generation of phylogenetic trees based on the deduced amino acid sequence of FimA of P. gulae strains along with sequences from several strains of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major cause of human periodontitis, revealed that the two types of FimA (types A and B) of P. gulae were similar to type I FimA and types II and III FimA of P. gingivalis, respectively. A PCR system for classification was established based on differences in the nucleotide sequences of the fimA genes. Analysis of 115 P. gulae-positive oral swab specimens from dogs revealed that 42.6%, 22.6%, and 26.1% of them contained type A, type B, and both type A and B fimA genes, respectively. Experiments with a mouse abscess model demonstrated that the strains with type B fimA caused significantly greater systemic inflammation than those with type A. These results suggest that the FimA proteins of P. gulae are diverse with two major types and that strains with type B fimA could be more virulent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-891
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Fimbriae
  • Genotype
  • Periodontitis
  • Porphyromonas gulae
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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