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Infect Immun. 2008 Sep;76(9):4145-51. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00585-08. Epub 2008 Jun 30.

Proteomic analysis of Vibrio cholerae in human stool.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


An effective vaccine for Vibrio cholerae is not yet available for use in the developing world, where the burden of cholera disease is highest. Characterizing the proteins that are expressed by V. cholerae in the human host environment may provide insight into the pathogenesis of cholera and assist with the development of an improved vaccine. We analyzed the V. cholerae proteins present in the stools of 32 patients with clinical cholera. The V. cholerae outer membrane porin, OmpU, was identified in all of the human stool samples, and many V. cholerae proteins were repeatedly identified in separate patient samples. The majority of V. cholerae proteins identified in human stool are involved in protein synthesis and energy metabolism. A number of proteins involved in the pathogenesis of cholera, including the A and B subunits of cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus, were identified in human stool. In a subset of stool specimens, we also assessed which in vivo expressed V. cholerae proteins were recognized uniquely by convalescent-phase as opposed to acute-phase serum from cholera patients. We identified a number of these in vivo expressed proteins as immunogenic during human infection. To our knowledge, this is the first characterization of the proteome of a pathogenic bacteria recovered from a natural host.

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