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Trends Microbiol. 2007 Oct;15(10):456-61. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Campylobacter flagella: not just for motility.

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Enteric Diseases Department, Naval Medical Research Center, 503 Robert Grant Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.


Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are among the major causes of diarrheal disease worldwide. The motility imparted by the polar flagella of these pathogens is required for colonization of the mucus lining of the gastrointestinal tract. However, recent studies have revealed a more complex role for flagella in Campylobacter pathogenesis that includes the ability to secrete non-flagellar proteins that modulate virulence and the co-regulation of secreted and non-secreted virulence factors with the flagella regulon. Campylobacter flagellins are heavily glycosylated and changes in glycan composition affect autoagglutination and microcolony formation on intestinal epithelial cells; these traits are associated with disease in an animal model. Here, these recent advances in our understanding of the multifaceted role of flagella in Campylobacter virulence are summarized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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