Open Access Research article

Response of swine spleen to Streptococcus suis infection revealed by transcription analysis

Ran Li12, Anding Zhang12, Bo Chen2, Liu Teng2, Ya Wang2, Huanchun Chen12 and Meilin Jin12*

  • * Corresponding author: Meilin Jin

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Unit of Animal Infectious Diseases, National Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China

2 College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:556  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-556

Published: 11 October 2010



Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2), a major swine pathogen and an emerging zoonotic agent, has greatly challenged global public health. Systematical information about host immune response to the infection is important for understanding the molecular mechanism of diseases.


104 and 129 unique genes were significantly up-regulated and down-regulated in the spleens of pigs infected with SS2 (WT). The up-regulated genes were principally related to immune response, such as genes involved in inflammatory response; acute-phase/immune response; cell adhesion and response to stress. The down-regulated genes were mainly involved in transcription, transport, material and energy metabolism which were representative of the reduced vital activity of SS2-influenced cells. Only a few genes showed significantly differential expression when comparing avirulent isogenic strain (ΔHP0197) with mock-infected samples.


Our findings indicated that highly pathogenic SS2 could persistently induce cytokines mainly by Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) pathway, and the phagocytosis-resistant bacteria could induce high level of cytokines and secrete toxins to destroy deep tissues, and cause meningitis, septicaemia, pneumonia, endocarditis, and arthritis.