Finding proteins that hit the mark


Brucellosis is the most common zoonosis, and a significant global health concern. Brucella bacteria are responsible for over 500,000 infections per year, which if left untreated can result in chronic disease and high morbidity. The disease is typically transmitted from animals to humans through ingestion of unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat, or through direct contact with an infected animal. Brucella is primarily found in intracellular environments, is frequently able to avoid immune surveillance and often remains undetected in blood, which reduces the performance of serology and culture based diagnostics.

As part of the NIAID-funded Caprion Clinical Proteomics and Proteomics Research Centers, Caprion initiated studies to develop a blood-based test that can identify patients with brucellosis. We demonstrated that the Brucella proteome has enormous plasticity1 and a successful infection did not depend on discrete virulence factors but on coordinated physiological changes induced by the pathogen2. Caprion identified changes in host proteins associated with the establishment of the intracellular niche of Brucella and the potentially secreted subset of these proteins were monitored in patient plasma samples. Small panels of host plasma proteins were identified that could distinguish brucellosis from infectious diseases of similar clinical presentation or similar infection mechanism.


  • Early diagnosis
  • Conformation of suspected brucellosis
  • Monitoring of at-risk populations


  • Improved sensitivity
  • Earlier diagnosis
  • Independent of host immunocompetence


1Lamontagne J, et al . Extensive cell envelope modulation is associated with virulence in Brucella abortus. J. Prot. Res. (2007) 6:1519-1529
2Lamontagne J, et al. Intracellular adaptation of Brucella abortus. J. Proteome Res. (2009) 8:1594.

© 2017 Caprion