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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2004 Feb 9;231(1):1-12.

Brucella pathogenesis, genes identified from random large-scale screens.

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Unité de Recherche en Biologie Moléculaire (URBM), Laboratoire d'Immunologie et de Microbiologie, Université de Namur, Namur, Belgium.


Pathogenicity islands, specialized secretion systems, virulence plasmids, fimbriae, pili, adhesins, and toxins are all classical bacterial virulence factors. However, many of these factors, though widespread among bacterial pathogens, are not necessarily found among bacteria that colonize eukaryotic cells in a pathogenic/symbiotic relationship. Bacteria that form these relationships have developed other strategies to infect and grow in their hosts. This is particularly true for Brucella and other members of the class Proteobacteria. Thus far the identification of virulence factors for Brucella has been largely dependent on large-scale screens and testing in model systems. The genomes of the facultative intracellular pathogens Brucella melitensis and Brucella suis were sequenced recently. This has identified several more potential virulence factors for Brucella that were not found in large screens. Here, we present an overall view of Brucella virulence by compiling virulence data from the study of 184 attenuated mutants.

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