This study was undertaken to search for the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG)-binding proteins in Streptococcus suis, an important swine pathogen. Whole bacterial cells were incubated with human or pig IgG conjugated to gold particles and examined by transmission electron microscopy. Cells of some S. suis strains were labelled as were cells of the positive control strain, Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I. Binding of pig and human IgG to five different bacterial species of group D streptococci, to reference strains representing the 29 capsular types of S. suis, and to 12 S. suis capsular type 2 strains was then examined using Western blotting. All strains interacted with pig and human IgG, although the binding profiles were slightly different. A 52 kDa protein was observed in all capsular types of S. suis. This protein, absent in other group D streptococcal species, was observed in all capsular type 2 isolates originating from diseased or clinically healthy pigs, and was shown to bind human IgG-Fc fragments. The IgG-binding activity was also observed in the culture supernatant and was sensitive to proteolysis.
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