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Vet Microbiol. 2002 Dec 20;90(1-4):349-63.

Seeking a niche: putative contributions of the hfq and bacA gene products to the successful adaptation of the brucellae to their intracellular home.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC 27858-4354, USA.


Long-term residence of the brucellae in the phagosomal compartment of host macrophages is essential to their ability to produce disease in both natural and experimental hosts. Correspondingly, the Brucella spp. appear to be well adapted to resist the multiple environmental stresses they encounter in their intracellular home. This brief review will focus on the contributions of the hfq and bacA gene products to this adaptation. Studies with Brucella hfq mutants suggest that stationary phase physiology is critical for successful long-term residence in host macrophages. Analysis of Brucella bacA mutants, on the other hand, reveal very striking parallels between the strategies employed by the rhizobia to establish and maintain protracted intracellular residence in their plant host and those used by the brucellae during their long-term survival in the phagosomal compartment of host macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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