Animal Health Research Reviews

Review Article

Comparative genomics and proteomics to study tissue-specific response and function in natural Mycobacterium bovis infections

Victoria Naranjoa1, Christian Gortazara1, Margarita Villara2 and José de la Fuentea1a3 c1

a1 Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain

a2 Instituto de Tecnologías Química y Medioambiental ITQUIMA, University of Castilla La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain

a3 Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA


Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an established zoonotic disease which affects cattle and wildlife worldwide and new strategies are required to control and eradicate the disease. The European wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a major reservoir of bTB in Spain. The objective of this paper was to review tissue-specific response and function of mandibular lymph nodes (MLN) and oropharyngeal tonsils (OT) in European wild boar naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis. Genomics and proteomics data were used to compare differential gene expression and global protein patterns in OT and MLN of M. bovis-infected and uninfected European wild boar and the results were analyzed considering previous reports of experimental infections in laboratory and domestic animals. The results showed tissue-specific differences in OT and MLN in response to M. bovis infection. Tissue-specific differences in gene expression and protein profiles suggested different functions for OT and MLN during mycobacterial infection and provided information to characterize the pathobiology of M. bovis infection in European wild boar with important implications for the control of bTB in Spain. The characterization of molecular events in tissues that play different roles during mycobacterial infection in naturally infected individuals may be relevant to understand the pathobiology of M. bovis infection and to design effective strategies for the control of bTB in wildlife reservoirs.

(Received February 02 2007)

(Accepted May 08 2007)


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: or