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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2000 Oct;2(4):355-64.

Chemotaxis in pathogenic spirochetes: directed movement toward targeting tissues?

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School of Dentistry and Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1668, USA.


Chemotaxis is an important feature of motile organisms that allows navigation through various environments. It enables them to detect nutrients and to avoid unfavorable or dangerous conditions. Motility and chemotaxis are widely acknowledged as important virulence factors for pathogenic bacteria. In this review, we try to explore the role of chemotaxis in the pathogenesis of spirochetes. Chemotaxis might be involved in tissue identification and penetration, and represents a possible mechanism for evasion of the host's immune defense. The recent development of genetic tools for pathogenic spirochetes and "tracking" techniques, employing fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), could revolutionize our understanding of the importance of chemotaxis for infection and persistence of these bacteria in their host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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