Submitted to: Brucellosis Research National Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Molecular genetic research on brucellae is increasing, adding to the wealth of information began early in this century from the study of spontaneous mutants of brucellae. Much of the study on spontaneous mutants focused on isolation of vaccine strains, dissociation, and L-forms. The phylogeny and taxonomy of brucellae has changed dramatically in the last fifteen years. During this time, the use of 16S and 35S dRNA has largely supplanted the use of biochemical tests to place strains in genera, but the biochemical tests are still critical to classify brucellae into biovars. Currently, the Genus Brucella contains a single species Brucella melitensis, and the classical species nomen are to be used as biovar names. The genome of brucellae consists of two circular chromosomes and is approximately 58% GC. The polymorphism found amongst the classical species has been used to develop a variety of DNA based diagnostic tests for rapid identification of fbrucellae biovars. To date about 35 brucellae genes are in the GenBank database. Recombinant DNA technology has been used to create mutants of brucellae. Mostly, these mutants were constructed to determine the effect of specific mutations on virulence in cell and animal models. Determination of the DNA sequence Brucella melitensis would greatly aid in our understanding and studies of the mechanisms by which brucellae cause brucellosis.