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Antimicrobial activity of bovine NK-lysin-derived peptides on bovine respiratory pathogen Histophilus somni

Rohana P. Dassanayake, Shollie M. Falkenberg, Robert E. Briggs, Fred M. Tatum, Randy E. Sacco
Plos One 2017 v.12 no.8 pp. 1-14
Haemophilus somni, animal pathogenic bacteria, antibacterial properties, bovine respiratory disease, cattle, cell membranes, cytotoxic T-lymphocytes, electron microscopy, flow cytometry, granules, peptides
Bovine NK-lysins, which are functionally and structurally similar to human granulysin and porcine NK-lysin, are predominantly found in the granules of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes and NK-cells. Although antimicrobial activity of bovine NK-lysin has been assessed for several bacterial pathogens, not all the important bacterial pathogens that are involved in the bovine respiratory disease complex have been studied. Therefore the objective of the present study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of bovine NK-lysin-derived peptides on bovine respiratory pathogen Histophilus somni. Four, 30-mer peptides corresponding to the functional region of NK-lysin helices 2 and 3 were synthesized and assessed for antibacterial activity on four bovine pneumonic H. somni isolates. Although there were some differences in the efficiency of bactericidal activity among the NK-lysin peptides at lower concentrations (2 - 5 µM), all four peptides effectively killed most H. somni isolates at higher concentrations (10 - 30 µM) as determined by a bacterial killing assay. Confocal microscopic and flow cytometric analysis of Live/Dead Baclight stained H. somni (which were preincubated with NK-lysin peptides) were consistent with the killing assay findings and suggest NK-lysin peptides are bactericidal for H. somni. Among the four peptides, NK2A-derived peptide consistently showed the highest antimicrobial activity against all four H. somni isolates. Electron microscopic examination of H. somni following incubation with NK-lysin revealed extensive cell membrane damage, protrusions of outer membranes, and cytoplasmic content leakage. Taken together, the findings from this study clearly demonstrate the antimicrobial activity of all four bovine NK-lysin-derived peptides against bovine H. somni isolates.