Bacterial Proteomics in the Study of Virulence: An Overview

David G. E. Smith*, Robert J. Goldstone, Neil F. Inglis, Eleanor Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Advances being made in proteomics methodologies, including sample fractionation and mass spectrometry, are beginning to allow the bacterial proteome to be characterized in the context of infected tissues although much progress relies on carefully constructed in vitro experimentation. A spectrum of approaches is available for characterizing and comparing proteomes of bacterial pathogens from 'shotgun' sampling of protein populations to sensitive and sophisticated quantitative proteomics. Each approach offers means to define virulence components through targeting of pertinent bacterial compartments, relevant environmental cues and appropriate infection models. Recent developments in advancing understanding of bacterial pathogens and their virulence determinants have come via focus on post-translational modifications of proteins, by combining several omics approaches ('polyomics' or 'multi-omics') or through sampling of bacteria directly from infections. Data generated are vast and complex, hence sophisticated analytical tools are required to assist interpretation in a biological context. Proteomics studies of bacterial pathogens have identified numerous virulence-associated determinants and functional analyses - including relevant virulence models - are important components in advancing proteomics into further understanding of disease-causing bacteria and their virulence characteristics and processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Medical Microbiology
EditorsYi-Wei Tang, Max Sussman, Dongyou Liu, Ian Poxton, Joseph Schwartzman
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780123971692
ISBN (Print)9780126775303
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Bacterial pathogens
  • In vivo models
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Multi-omics/polyomics
  • Post-translational modification
  • Proteome/proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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