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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 15;8(11):e80796. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080796. eCollection 2013.

Immunoproteomic analysis of proteins expressed by two related pathogens, Burkholderia multivorans and Burkholderia cenocepacia, during human infection.

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Centre of Microbial Host Interactions, ITT Dublin, Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland.


Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen that causes chronic infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF). It is a highly antibiotic resistant organism and Bcc infections are rarely cleared from patients, once they are colonized. The two most clinically relevant species within Bcc are Burkholderia cenocepacia and Burkholderia multivorans. The virulence of these pathogens has not been fully elucidated and the virulence proteins expressed during human infection have not been identified to date. Furthermore, given its antibiotic resistance, prevention of infection with a prophylactic vaccine may represent a better alternative than eradication of an existing infection. We have compared the immunoproteome of two strains each from these two species of Bcc, with the aim of identifying immunogenic proteins which are common to both species. Fourteen immunoreactive proteins were exclusive to both B. cenocepacia strains, while 15 were exclusive to B. multivorans. A total of 15 proteins were immunogenic across both species. DNA-directed RNA polymerase, GroEL, 38kDa porin and elongation factor-Tu were immunoreactive proteins expressed by all four strains examined. Many proteins which were immunoreactive in both species, warrant further investigations in order to aid in the elucidation of the mechanisms of pathogenesis of this difficult organism. In addition, identification of some of these could also allow the development of protective vaccines which may prevent colonisation.

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