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Microbiology. 2008 Jan;154(Pt 1):16-29. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2007/012286-0.

The post-transcriptional regulator CsrA plays a central role in the adaptation of bacterial pathogens to different stages of infection in animal hosts.

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UMR CNRS 6026, Université Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes, France.


The importance of Csr post-transcriptional systems is gradually emerging; these systems control a variety of virulence-linked physiological traits in many pathogenic bacteria. This review focuses on the central role that Csr systems play in the pathogenesis of certain bacteria and in the establishment of successful infections in animal hosts. Csr systems appear to control the 'switch' between different physiological states in the infection process; for example switching pathogens from a colonization state to a persistence state. Csr systems are controlled by two-component sensor/regulator systems and by non-coding RNAs. In addition, recent findings suggest that the RNA chaperone Hfq may play an integral role in Csr-mediated bacterial adaptation to the host environment.

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