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Proteomics. 2009 Jul;9(13):3522-34. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200700855.

Analysis of differential proteomes in pathogenic and non-pathogenic Leptospira: potential pathogenic and virulence factors.

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Medical Proteomics Unit, Office for Research and Development, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochetes in the genus Leptospira. To date, factors determining the pathogenicity and virulence of leptospires remain unclear. We performed a gel-based proteomic analysis to evaluate differential leptospiral proteomes in the pathogenic L. interrogans (serovars Australis, Bratislava, Autumnalis, and Icterohaemorrhagiae) and the non-pathogenic L. biflexa (serovar Patoc). Quantitative proteome analysis and MS protein identification revealed 42 forms of 33 unique proteins whose levels were significantly greater in the pathogenic serovars compared with the non-pathogenic serovar. Among the four pathogenic serovars, the more virulent serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae (which is most commonly associated with severe leptospirosis in patients) had significantly greater levels of 14 forms of 12 unique proteins, when compared with the other three pathogenic serovars. Some of these identified proteins may serve as the pathogenic and/or virulence factors of leptospirosis.

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