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Expression de marqueurs fluorescents et d'antigènes viraux chez les mycoplasmes, étude d’interactions avec les cellules de l’hôte

Abstract : A mini-transposon affording unmarked, stable mutagenesis in mycoplasmas was modified to allow gene expression. This tool was first used for the development of fluorescence expression for stable and innocuous whole mycoplasma cell labelling. For this purpose, the fluorescent proteins GFP2, mCherry, mKO2 and mNeonGreen were introduced as chromosomal tags in the phylogenetically distant species Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (Mmm) and Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis), resulting in the unprecedented observation of red and green fluorescent mycoplasma colonies in the two species, with no apparent cytotoxicity. Equivalent fluorescence expression levels were quantified by flow cytometry in both species, suggesting that these tools can be broadly applied in mycoplasmas. These fluorescent mycoplasmas were then used to compare the adhesion, invasion and persistence of the two species in different bovine cells. They notably confirmed that M. bovis shows a higher adhesion and proliferation capacity to the inert culture surface and higher adhesion to embryonic lung epithelial cells, which it invades. It also shows an increased resistance to elimination by macrophages. However, fluorescent Mmm were also detected inside the phagocytes 72h post-infection, even at a low MOI. Finally, the expression vector was used to assess the possible use of mycoplasmas as vaccine vectors. For this purpose, we introduced the H gene of the “peste des petits ruminants” virus, already used in effective recombinant vaccines, in a caprine mycoplasma as proof-of-concept of a mycoplasma-based multivalent vaccine. However, despite the detection of specific mRNA, the expression of the viral protein could not be evidenced using a highly a sensitive peptide detection technique by mass spectrometry, so this prove of concept could not be delivered. Still, the fluorescence expression tools developed in this study are suitable for host-pathogen interaction studies and offer innumerable perspectives for the functional analysis of mycoplasmas both in vitro and in vivo.
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Tiffany Bonnefois. Expression de marqueurs fluorescents et d'antigènes viraux chez les mycoplasmes, étude d’interactions avec les cellules de l’hôte. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université Montpellier, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017MONTT028⟩. ⟨tel-01684386⟩

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