Cloning, expression, and purification of Burkholderia protein targets for diagnostic and vaccine development
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Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei cause the diseases melioidosis and glanders, respectively. These diseases are endemic mainly in southeastern Asia and northern Australia, but they also pose a bioterrorism threat in the developed world. These diseases have high mortality, partially due to the lack of vaccines and rapid, accurate diagnostic assays. The work discussed here represents a part of a larger project to develop a dependable diagnostic assay for use in both developing endemic areas and the developed world, as well as a subunit vaccine to protect against disease. In this study, several proteins from B. pseudomallei, B. mallei, and the closely related but less virulent B. thailandensis have been cloned, expressed and purified in order to develop highly sensitive and specific diagnostic reagents for the detection of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei in infected patient samples. Protein targets expressed in this study were also used in subunit vaccine development for melioidosis and glanders.