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Int J Med Microbiol. 2003 Feb;292(7-8):453-61.

Virulence and the heat shock response.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel 69978.


The major adaptive response to elevation in temperature is the heat shock response that involves the induction of many proteins--called heat shock proteins. These include chaperones, proteases, alternative sigma factors and other regulatory and structural proteins. The heat shock response is also turned on by other stress conditions, such as oxidative stress or pH changes. Bacterial entry into the host organism involves a significant environmental change, which is expected to induce the heat shock response. Indeed, some of the heat shock proteins are themselves virulence factors while others affect pathogenesis indirectly, by increasing bacterial resistance to host defenses or regulating virulence genes. The cross talk between heat shock and virulence genes is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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