Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Immun. 2006 May;74(5):2925-36.

Attenuated bioluminescent Brucella melitensis mutants GR019 (virB4), GR024 (galE), and GR026 (BMEI1090-BMEI1091) confer protection in mice.

Author information

Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1656 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


In vivo bioluminescence imaging is a persuasive approach to investigate a number of issues in microbial pathogenesis. Previously, we have applied bioluminescence imaging to gain greater insight into Brucella melitensis pathogenesis. Endowing Brucella with bioluminescence allowed direct visualization of bacterial dissemination, pattern of tissue localization, and the contribution of Brucella genes to virulence. In this report, we describe the pathogenicity of three attenuated bioluminescent B. melitensis mutants, GR019 (virB4), GR024 (galE), and GR026 (BMEI1090-BMEI1091), and the dynamics of bioluminescent virulent bacterial infection following vaccination with these mutants. The virB4, galE, and BMEI1090-BMEI1091 mutants were attenuated in interferon regulatory factor 1-deficient (IRF-1(-/-)) mice; however, only the GR019 (virB4) mutant was attenuated in cultured macrophages. Therefore, in vivo imaging provides a comprehensive approach to identify virulence genes that are relevant to in vivo pathogenesis. Our results provide greater insights into the role of galE in virulence and also suggest that BMEI1090 and downstream genes constitute a novel set of genes involved in Brucella virulence. Survival of the vaccine strain in the host for a critical period is important for effective Brucella vaccines. The galE mutant induced no changes in liver and spleen but localized chronically in the tail and protected IRF-1(-/-) and wild-type mice from virulent challenge, implying that this mutant may serve as a potential vaccine candidate in future studies and that the direct visualization of Brucella may provide insight into selection of improved vaccine candidates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center