Mutant Brucella abortus membrane fusogenic protein induces protection against challenge infection in mice

Job Alves de Souza Filho, Vicente de Paulo Martins, Priscila Carneiro Campos, Juliana Alves-Silva, Nathalia V. Santos, Fernanda Souza de Oliveira, Gustavo B. Menezes, Vasco Azevedo, Silvio Lorenzo Cravero, Sergio Costa Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Brucella species can cause brucellosis, a zoonotic disease that causes serious livestock economic losses and represents a public health threat. The mechanism of virulence of Brucella spp. is not yet fully understood. Therefore, it is crucial to identify new molecules that serve as virulence factors to better understand this host-pathogen interplay. Here, we evaluated the role of the Brucella membrane fusogenic protein (Mfp) and outer membrane protein 19 (Omp19) in bacterial pathogenesis. In this study, we showed that B. abortus Δmfp::kan and Δomp19::kan deletion mutant strains have reduced persistence in vivo in C57BL/6 and interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) knockout (KO) mice. Additionally, 24 h after macrophage infection with a Δmfp::kan or Δomp19::kan strain expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) approximately 80% or 65% of Brucella-containing vacuoles (BCVs) retained the late endosomal/lysosomal marker LAMP-1, respectively, whereas around 60% of BCVs containing wild-type S2308 were found in LAMP-1-negative compartments. B. abortus Δomp19::kan was attenuated in vivo but had a residual virulence in C57BL/6 and IRF-1 KO mice, whereas the Δmfp::kan strain had a lower virulence in these same mouse models. Furthermore, Δmfp::kan and Δomp19::kan strains were used as live vaccines. Challenge experiments revealed that in C57BL/6 and IRF-1 KO mice, the Δmfp::kan strain induced greater protection than the vaccine RB51 and protection similar that of vaccine S19. However, a Δomp19::kan strain induced protection similar to that of RB51. Thus, these results demonstrate that Brucella Mfp and Omp19 are critical for full bacterial virulence and that the Δmfp::kan mutant may serve as a potential vaccine candidate in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1458-1464
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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