Identification of Conserved Proteins in Nocardia brasiliensis and other Actinomycetoma causative agents using a Bioinformatic approach
Mycetoma, a neglected tropical disease, is caused by a multitude of different microorganisms. This condition may be caused by both bacterial and fungal species, with the bacterial species suggested to spread more quickly through the body. Often untreated due to lack of medical access, amputation is ultimately a commonly relied upon resolution to avoid further complications in patients. Nocardia brasiliensis, although a rare pathogen, is the main culprit of actinomycetoma (bacterial-caused mycetoma). This underreported disease has not been fully explored. Currently, actinomycetoma has no preventative measures. Given the difficult patient accessibility of medical care, an effective, practical, pre-emptive approach is worth exploring. One such measure is the implementation of a broad-spectrum vaccine aimed at most, even all, mycetoma causative bacterial agents by targeting a conserved motif. I hypothesize that at least one Nocardia brasiliensis encoded protein is conserved
amongst other actinomycetoma bacteria. Using a bioinformatical approach, identified Nocardia brasiliensis proteins were used to search for homologs in other potential mycetoma-causative agents. Three key DNA replication proteins have been identified as potential candidates. Interestingly, homologs were identified in other Nocardia species, as well as Rhodococcus, Actinobacteria, and Corynebacteriales species. Furthermore, nucleotide sequences encoded by the three most common causative agents of mycetoma were compared. From these analyses, the 16S ribosom was identified as partially conserved amongst them. These identified elements can now serve as a platform for future studies exploring them as a potential vaccine candidate.