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Microb Cell Fact. 2006 Mar 23;5:13.

Brucella spp noncanonical LPS: structure, biosynthesis, and interaction with host immune system.

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1
Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Biological Sciences Institute, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte-Minas Gerais, Brazil. pattygomes@yahoo.com

Abstract

Brucella spp. are facultative intracellular pathogens that have the ability to survive and multiply in professional and non-professional phagocytes, and cause abortion in domestic animals and undulant fever in humans. Several species are recognized within the genus Brucella and this classification is mainly based on the difference in pathogenicity and in host preference. Brucella strains may occur as either smooth or rough, expressing smooth LPS (S-LPS) or rough LPS (R-LPS) as major surface antigen. This bacterium possesses an unconventional non-endotoxic lipopolysaccharide that confers resistance to anti-microbial attacks and modulates the host immune response. The strains that are pathogenic for humans (B. abortus, B. suis, B. melitensis) carry a smooth LPS involved in the virulence of these bacteria. The LPS O-chain protects the bacteria from cellular cationic peptides, oxygen metabolites and complement-mediated lysis and it is a key molecule for Brucella survival and replication in the host. Here, we review i) Brucella LPS structure; ii) Brucella genome, iii) genes involved in LPS biosynthesis; iv) the interaction between LPS and innate immunity.

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