Erik M Petersen

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Brucella melitensis is an intracellular pathogen that establishes a replicative niche within macrophages. While the intracellular lifestyle of Brucella is poorly understood and few virulence factors have been identified, components of a quorum-sensing pathway in Brucella have recently been identified. The LuxR-type regulatory protein, VjbR, and an(More)
Brucella is an important zoonotic pathogen for which no human vaccine exists. In an infected host, Brucella resides in macrophages but must coordinate expression of multiple virulence factors for successful cell entry and trafficking to acquire this replicative niche. Brucella responds to environmental signals to regulate virulence strategies that(More)
Brucella genomic islands (GIs) share similarities in their genomic organization to pathogenicity islands from other bacteria and are likely acquired by lateral gene transfer. Here, we report the identification of a GI that is important for the pathogenicity of Brucella melitensis. The deletion of GI-1, GI-5, or GI-6 did not affect bacterial growth in(More)
Erythritol is a four-carbon sugar preferentially utilized by Brucella spp. The presence of erythritol in the placentas of goats, cows, and pigs has been used to explain the localization of Brucella to these sites and the subsequent accumulation of large amounts of bacteria, eventually leading to abortion. Here we show that Brucella melitensis will also(More)
Brucella melitensis encounters a variety of conditions and stimuli during its life cycle--including environmental growth, intracellular infection, and extracellular dissemination--which necessitates flexibility of bacterial signaling to promote virulence. Cyclic-di-GMP is a bacterial secondary signaling molecule that plays an important role in adaptation to(More)
Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease caused by a number of Brucella species and is characterized by chronic macrophage infection. However, genes that may contribute to intracellular survival of the Brucella species are not well studied. This review presents, first, genomic islands that are present or absent in various Brucella species that may help establish(More)
Brucella species utilize diverse virulence factors. Previously, Brucella abortus light-sensing histidine kinase was identified as important for cellular infection. Here, we demonstrate that a Brucella melitensis LOV-HK (BM-LOV-HK) mutant strain has strikingly different gene expression than wild type. General stress response genes including the alternative(More)
Despite progress in mouse models of bacterial pathogens, studies are often limited by evaluating infections in an individual organ or tissue or at a given time. Here we present a technique to engineer the pathogen, e.g., Brucella melitensis, with a bioluminescent marker permitting analysis of living bacteria in real time during the infectious process from(More)
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