Aeromonas veronii is a zoonotic pathogen capable of causing sepsis and ulceration in freshwater fish. Recently, reports of numerous cases indicate a marked increase in pathogenicity. Nonetheless, little is known about the pathogenesis of A. veronii infections. In this study, an in-frame mutant of the A. veronii vipB gene was generated to investigate its biological function. Deletion of the vipB gene resulted in a significant 204.71-fold decrease in the LD of A. veronii against zebrafish and a 2-fold and 4-fold reduction in the toxicity to EPC cells at 1 h and 2 h of infection, respectively. The virulence-related genes of the mutant ΔvipB all showed significantly reduced expression levels compared to the wild strain. In addition, the motility of the mutant ΔvipB decreased significantly, the adhesion ability to EPC cells was 3.25-fold lower than that of the parental strain, and the oxidative stress tolerance was 2.31-fold lower than that of TH0426 strain. In contrast, the biofilm formation amount of ΔvipB strain increased by 1.65-fold at both 12 h and 24 h. Our findings suggest that the vipB gene is associated with flagella stability, virulence, and oxidative stress tolerance and plays critical roles in the pathogenesis of A. veronii infections.© 2023 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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