Type IV secretion and Brucella virulence

Vet Microbiol. 2002 Dec 20;90(1-4):341-8. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1135(02)00219-5.


The type IV secretion system, encoded by the virB region, is a key virulence factor for Brucella. The 12 genes of the region form an operon that is specifically induced by phagosome acidification in cells after phagocytosis. We speculate that the system serves to secrete unknown effector molecules, which allow Brucella to pervert the host cell endosomal pathways and to create a novel intracellular compartment in which it can replicate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Brucella / genetics*
  • Brucella / pathogenicity*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Endosomes / microbiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Operon*
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Virulence Factors