Brucella melitensis

Brucella melitensis

Leader: Christoph Dehio

Co-leader: Jacob Moran-Gilad

Researchers: Sebastian Bernauer, Mara Esposito, Zubaida Ezery, Susanne Flister, Daniel Grupel, Maren Ketterer, Boris Khalfin, Roberto Marano, Maxime Quebatte, Ikram Salah

Brucella melitensis is a Gram-negative zoonotic pathogen that causes brucellosis in humans through contact with infected livestock or dietary products. Brucellosis is a chronic disease with a debilitating course. The facultative intracellular B. melitensis bacteria multiply and persist in phagocytes and systemically spread via the blood to the reticuloendothelial system. Despite of prolonged antibiotic combination therapy, relapses are frequent (5-15%) and contribute significantly to morbidity. Brucellosis is endemic in certain regions of the globe, such as southern Europe and the Middle East.

WP-BME aims to determine the physiological state of B. melitensis in brucellosis patients for developing in-vitro models that recapitulate frequent failures of current treatment schemes and enable discovery of more efficacious treatments.

The three main objectives are:

  • Objective 1: To determine B. melitensis physiological states and cellular association in patient blood samples
  • Objective 2: To develop in-vitro models that mimic B. melitensis physiology, antibiotic susceptibility and relapses 
  • Objective 3: To utilize single cell biomarkers and CRISPRi-seq to dissect B. melitensis physiology during antibiotic exposure in different in-vitro models.