International Microbiology, Vol 1, No 1 (1998)

Structure and properties of the outer membranes of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis

Ignacio Moriyón, Ignacio López-Goñi


The brucellae are Gram-negative bacteria characteristically able to multiply facultatively within phagocytic cells and which cause a zoonosis of world-wide importance. This article reviews the structure and topology of the main components (lipopolysaccharide, native hapten polysaccharide, free lipids and proteins) of the outer membranes of Brucella abortus and B. melitensis, as well as some distinctive properties (permeability and interactions with cationic peptides) of these membranes. On these data, an outer membrane model is proposed in which, as compared to other Gram-negatives, there is a stronger hydrophobic anchorage for the lipopolysaccharide, free lipids, porin proteins and lipoproteins, and a reduced surface density of anionic groups, which could be partially or totally neutralized by ornithine lipids. This model accounts for the permeability of Brucella to hydrophobic permeants and for its resistance to the bactericidal oxygen-independent systems of phagocytes.

Full Text: PDF

Sello de Calidad FECYT



5-year Impact Factor of International Microbiology is 2,10.

The journal is covered in several leading abstracting and indexing databases, including the following ones: AFSA Marine Biotechnology Abstracts; Biological Abstracts; Biotechnology Research Abstracts; BIOSIS Previews; CAB Abstracts; Chemical Abstracts; Current Contents–Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences; EBSCO; Embase; Food Science and Technology Abstracts; Google Scholar; IEDCYT; IBECS; Latíndex; MedBioWorld; PubMed; SciELO-Spain; Science Citation Index Expanded; Scopus


Creative Commons License

This work, including photographs and other illustrations, unless the contrary is indicated, is subject to an Attributions–Non-Commercial–ShareAlike 3.0 Creative Commons License, the full text of which can be consulted at You are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work provided that the author is credited and reuse of the material is restricted to non-commercial purposes only and that if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. 


Copyright ® 2013 by Spanish Society for Microbiology (SEM)