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Mol Microbiol. 2006 Apr;60(2):417-26.

Cholera stool bacteria repress chemotaxis to increase infectivity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

Abstract

Factors that enhance the transmission of pathogens are poorly understood. We show that Vibrio cholerae shed in human 'rice-water' stools have a 10-fold lower oral infectious dose in an animal model than in vitro grown V. cholerae, which may aid in transmission during outbreaks. Furthermore, we identify a bacterial factor contributing to this enhanced infectivity: The achievement of a transient motile but chemotaxis-defective state upon shedding from humans. Rice-water stool V. cholerae have reduced levels of CheW-1, which is essential for chemotaxis, and were consequently shown to have a chemotaxis defect when tested in capillary assays. Through mutational analyses, such a state is known to enhance the infectivity of V. cholerae. This is the first report of a pathogen altering its chemotactic state in response to human infection in order to enhance its transmission.

PMID:
16573690
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2754204
Free PMC Article

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