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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006 Dec;265(1):1-10.

Pasteurella multocida pathogenesis: 125 years after Pasteur.

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Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Structural and Functional Microbial Genomics, Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Pasteurella multocida was first shown to be the causative agent of fowl cholera by Louis Pasteur in 1881. Since then, this Gram-negative bacterium has been identified as the causative agent of many other economically important diseases in a wide range of hosts. The mechanisms by which these bacteria can invade the mucosa, evade innate immunity and cause systemic disease are slowly being elucidated. Key virulence factors identified to date include capsule and lipopolysaccharide. The capsule is clearly involved in bacterial avoidance of phagocytosis and resistance to complement, while complete lipopolysaccharide is critical for bacterial survival in the host. A number of other virulence factors have been identified by both directed and random mutagenesis, including Pasteurella multocida toxin (PMT), putative surface adhesins and iron acquisition proteins. However, it is likely that many key virulence factors are yet to be identified, including those required for initial attachment and invasion of host cells and for persistence in a relatively nutrient poor and hostile environment.

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