OMICS Techniques and Identification of Pathogen Virulence Genes Application to the Analysis of Respiratory Pathogens
Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina and Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona. Spain
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Enrique Querol
Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain,
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: December 18, 2008; Accepted date: February 28, 2009; Published date: March 10, 2009
Citation: Sergio H, Antonio G, Juan C, Enrique Q (2009) OMICS Techniques and Identification of Pathogen Virulence Genes Application to the Analysis of Respiratory Pathogens. J Comput Sci Syst Biol 2:124-132. doi:10.4172/jcsb.1000024
Copyright: © 2009 Sergio H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The advent of genomics should have facilitated the identification of microbial virulence factors, a key objective for vaccine design, especially for live attenuated vaccines. It is generally assumed than when the bacterial pathogen infects the host it expresses a set of genes, a number of them being virulence factors. However, up to now, although several Omics methods have been applied to identify virulence genes, i.e., DNA microarrays, In Vivo Expression Technology (IVET), Signature-Tagged Mutagenesis (STM), Differential Fluorescence Induction (DFI), etc., the results are quite meager. Among the genes identified by these techniques there are many related to cellular stress, basal metabolism, etc., which cannot be directly involved in virulence, or at least cannot be considered useful candidates to be deleted for designing a vaccine. Among the genes disclosed by these methodologies there are a number annotated as being hypothetical or unknown proteins. As these ORFs can hide some true virulence factors, we have selected all of these hypothetical proteins from several respiratory diseases and predicted their biological functions by a careful and in-depth analysis of each one. Although some of the re-annotations match with functions that can be related to microbial virulence, it can be concluded that identification of virulence factors remains elusive.