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Vet Microbiol. 2002 Dec 20;90(1-4):281-97.

Brucella intracellular life: from invasion to intracellular replication.

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Centre d'Immunologie INSERM-CNRS de Marseille-Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France.


Brucella organisms are pathogens that ultimate goal is to propagate in their preferred niche, the cell. Upon cell contact the bacteria is internalized via receptor molecules by activating small GTPases of the Rho subfamily and by a moderate recruitment of actin filaments. Once inside cells, Brucella localizes in early phagosomes, where it avoids fusion with late endosomes and lysosomes. These early events require the control of Rab small GTPases, and cytokines such as the G-CSF. Then, the bacterium redirects its trafficking to autophagosomes and finally reaches the endoplasmic reticulum, where it extensively replicates. Some of the bacterial molecular determinants involved in the internalization and early events after ingestion are controlled by the BvrS/BvrR two component regulatory system, whereas the intracellular trafficking beyond this early compartments are controlled by the VirB type IV secretion system. Once inside the endoplasmic reticulum, Brucella extensively replicates without restricting basic cellular functions or inducing obvious damage to cells. The integrity of Brucella LPS on the bacterial surface is one of the required factors for Brucella intracellular survival, and therefore for virulence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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