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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2014 Oct;27(4):691-726. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00118-13.

Pathogens penetrating the central nervous system: infection pathways and the cellular and molecular mechanisms of invasion.

Author information

1
Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
2
Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
3
Townsville Hospital, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
4
Menzies School of Health Research and Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
5
Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
6
School of Medical Science and Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia g.ulett@griffith.edu.au i.beacham@griffith.edu.au.
7
Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia g.ulett@griffith.edu.au i.beacham@griffith.edu.au.

Abstract

The brain is well protected against microbial invasion by cellular barriers, such as the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB). In addition, cells within the central nervous system (CNS) are capable of producing an immune response against invading pathogens. Nonetheless, a range of pathogenic microbes make their way to the CNS, and the resulting infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Bacteria, amoebae, fungi, and viruses are capable of CNS invasion, with the latter using axonal transport as a common route of infection. In this review, we compare the mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens reach the CNS and infect the brain. In particular, we focus on recent data regarding mechanisms of bacterial translocation from the nasal mucosa to the brain, which represents a little explored pathway of bacterial invasion but has been proposed as being particularly important in explaining how infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei can result in melioidosis encephalomyelitis.

PMID:
25278572
PMCID:
PMC4187632
DOI:
10.1128/CMR.00118-13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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