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The glutamic acid decarboxylase system of the new species Brucella microti contributes to its acid resistance and to oral infection of mice.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Genome analysis indicated that the new species Brucella microti possesses a potentially functional glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) system involved in extreme acid resistance in several foodborne bacteria. The contribution of this system in adaptation of B. microti to an acidic environment, including the intracellular vacuole and stomach, was investigated. RESULTS: B. microti was GAD positive and able to export its product, γ-aminobutyrate, to the extracellular medium. The resistance of B. microti to acid stress (pH 2.5) was glutamate dependent. Mutants affected in the GAD system lost this resistance, demonstrating its direct involvement in survival under these conditions. The reciprocal heterologous complementation of mutants with the GAD systems of Escherichia coli or B. microti confirmed conserved functions in both bacterial species. A gad mutant was not attenuated during infection of macrophages, where Brucella resides in an acidified vacuole at a pH of 4-4.5 during the early phase of macrophage infection, but GAD contributed to the survival of B. microti in a murine model following oral infection. CONCLUSIONS: This work provides first evidence that the GAD system might play an essential role in the resistance of an environment-borne, pathogenic Brucella species to extreme acid shock and during passage through the host stomach following oral infection.
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Alessandra Occhialini, Maria Pilar Jiménez de Bagüés, Bashir Saadeh, Daniela Bastianelli, Nabil Hanna, et al.. The glutamic acid decarboxylase system of the new species Brucella microti contributes to its acid resistance and to oral infection of mice.. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2012, 206 (9), pp.1424-32. ⟨10.1093/infdis/jis522⟩. ⟨pasteur-00952116⟩

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