Brucella spp. Virulence Factors and Immunity.


Brucellosis, caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella, is an important zoonotic infection that causes reproductive disease in domestic animals and chronic debilitating disease in humans. An intriguing aspect of Brucella infection is the ability of these bacteria to evade the host immune response, leading to pathogen persistence. Conversely, in the reproductive tract of infected animals, this stealthy pathogen is able to cause an acute severe inflammatory response. In this review, we discuss the different mechanisms used by Brucella to cause disease, with emphasis on its virulence factors and the dichotomy between chronic persistence and reproductive disease.