J Cancer 2011; 2:136-141. doi:10.7150/jca.2.136

Research Paper

Medulloblastoma and Brucellosis - Molecular Evidence of Brucella sp in Association with Central Nervous System Cancer

Binxue Zhang1,3, Mina Izadjoo1,3, Iren Horkayne-Szakaly2, Alan Morrison2, Douglas J. Wear1

1. Division of Wound and Translational Research, Department of Environmental and Infectious Disease Sciences, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA;
2. Department of Neuropathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA;
3. American Registry of Pathology, Washington DC, USA

Abstract

Neurobrucellosis has been reported to cause lesions in a number of different locations in the central nervous system. Histologically or radiologically, these lesions were consistent with an infection. In response to parents who believed their child's brain tumor, histologically typical of medulloblastoma, was in reality neurobrucellosis, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue from the medulloblastoma was sectioned, DNA extracted, and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Specific primer/probe sets, designed in our laboratory to target Brucella species, B. melitensis, B. abortus and B. suis, and designated OMP31, B-m, B-a and B-s, respectively, were used in TaqMan real-time PCR to amplify those gene targets in two separate blocks of the child's tumor. Sections from two blocks were positive only for Brucella species. Although the patient grew up in a European country known to harbor brucella in foods, such as unpasturized milk and cheese, the patient was seronegative for B. mellitensis, B. suis, and B. abortus. In an effort to test whether a relationship existed between the presence of brucella and medulloblastoma, 20 medulloblastomas were retrieved from the tissue repository of the AFIP. The above four primer/probe sets were again used to amplify brucella DNA. Five of 20 tumors (25%) contained Brucella species DNA by the OMP31 primer/probe set. None of the 20 medulloblastomas had specific sequences for B. mellitensis, B. suis, or B. abortus. Is chronic brucellosis similar to other infectious agents such as helicobacter that is associated with tumor formation?

Keywords: brucellosis, Brucella sp, medulloblastoma, glioblastoma, Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE), milk, dairy.

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How to cite this article:
Zhang B, Izadjoo M, Horkayne-Szakaly I, Morrison A, Wear DJ. Medulloblastoma and Brucellosis - Molecular Evidence of Brucella sp in Association with Central Nervous System Cancer. J Cancer 2011; 2:136-141. doi:10.7150/jca.2.136. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v02p0136.htm