Proteomics of Brucella: Technologies and Their Applications for Basic Research and Medical Microbiology
Brucellosis is a global zoonosis caused by Gram-negative, facultative intracellular bacteria of the genus Brucella (B.). Proteomics has been used to investigate a few B. melitensis and B. abortus strains, but data for other species and biovars are limited. Hence, a comprehensive analysis of proteomes will significantly contribute to understanding the enigmatic biology of brucellae. For direct identification and typing of Brucella, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization - time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI - TOF MS) has become a reliable tool for routine diagnosis due to its ease of handling, price and sensitivity highlighting the potential of proteome-based techniques. Proteome analysis will also help to overcome the historic but still notorious Brucella obstacles of infection medicine, the lack of safe and protective vaccines and sensitive serologic diagnostic tools by identifying the most efficient protein antigens. This perspective summarizes past and recent developments in Brucella proteomics with a focus on species identification and serodiagnosis. Future applications of proteomics in these fields are discussed.