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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 124509, 12 pages
Review Article

Importance of Lipopolysaccharide and Cyclic β-1,2-Glucans in Brucella-Mammalian Infections

School of Medicine & Dentistry, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK

Received 13 July 2010; Accepted 4 October 2010

Academic Editor: Charlene Kahler

Copyright © 2010 Andreas F. Haag et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Brucella species are the causative agents of one of the most prevalent zoonotic diseases: brucellosis. Infections by Brucella species cause major economic losses in agriculture, leading to abortions in infected animals and resulting in a severe, although rarely lethal, debilitating disease in humans. Brucella species persist as intracellular pathogens that manage to effectively evade recognition by the host's immune system. Sugar-modified components in the Brucella cell envelope play an important role in their host interaction. Brucella lipopolysaccharide (LPS), unlike Escherichia coli LPS, does not trigger the host's innate immune system. Brucella produces cyclic -1,2-glucans, which are important for targeting them to their replicative niche in the endoplasmic reticulum within the host cell. This paper will focus on the role of LPS and cyclic -1,2-glucans in Brucella-mammalian infections and discuss the use of mutants, within the biosynthesis pathway of these cell envelope structures, in vaccine development.