Bacterial infections represent a serious burden both for animal production and human health (zoonosis). Faster and more reliable diagnosis are mandatory in order to avoid economic losses and antibiotics misuse. The development of new potential diagnostic strategies for the immunodetection of pathogens is closely linked to the discovery of small polypeptides with immunogenic or immunoreactive activity. The candidate peptides used for this purpose must have several properties principally represented by their specificity and their location in the bacterial cell. Both proteomics, peptidomics and bioinformatics represent powerful complementary tools to discover specific immunoreactive peptides useful for diagnosis or vaccine. Peptidomics of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) represents a good example of the potential of this discovery-phase. This review reports a comprehensive update of the current scientific knowledge about proteins and peptides of MAP with already documented humoral response. These findings, together with bioinformatics tools available, could be extremely useful to design a better strategy for subclinical bovine paratuberculosis diagnosis. The knowledge provided also represents a reliable example on the workflow to be followed in the direction of the diagnosis of other diseases through a peptidomic approach.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.