Host response to Brucella infection: review and future perspective
Brucellosis is a zoonotic and contagious infectious disease caused by infection with Brucella species. The infecting brucellae are capable of causing a devastating multi-organ disease in humans with serious health complications. The pathogenesis of Brucella infection is influenced largely by host factors, Brucella species/strain, and the ability of invading brucellae to survive and replicate within mononuclear phagocytic cells, preferentially macrophages (Mf). Consequently, the course of human infection may appear as an acute fatal or progress into chronic debilitating infection with periodical episodes that leads to bacteremia and death. The existence of brucellae inside Mf represents one of the strategies used by Brucella to evade the host immune response and is responsible for treatment failure in certain human populations treated with anti-Brucella drugs. Moreover, the persistence of brucellae inside Mf complicates the diagnosis and may affect the host cell signaling pathways with consequent alterations in both innate and adaptive immune responses. Therefore, there is an urgent need to pursue the development of novel drugs and/or vaccine targets against human brucellosis using high throughput technologies in genomics, proteomics, and immunology.
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