Evolution of bacterial pathogenesis

Citation
W. Ziebuhr et al., Evolution of bacterial pathogenesis, CELL MOL L, 56(9-10), 1999, pp. 719-728
Citations number
70
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Cell & Developmental Biology
Journal title
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR LIFE SCIENCES
ISSN journal
1420-682X → ACNP
Volume
56
Issue
9-10
Year of publication
1999
Pages
719 - 728
Database
ISI
SICI code
1420-682X(19991130)56:9-10<719:EOBP>2.0.ZU;2-O
Abstract
The evolution of bacteria is associated with continuous generation of novel genetic variants. The major driving forces in this process are point mutat ions, genetic rearrangements, and horizontal gene transfer. A large number of human and animal bacterial pathogens have evolved the capacity to produc e virulence factors that are directly involved in infection and disease. Ad ditionally, many bacteria express resistance traits against antibiotics. Bo th virulence factors and resistance determinants are subject to intrastrain genetic and phenotypic variation. They are often encoded on unstable DNA r egions. Thus, they can be readily transferred to bacteria of the same speci es or even to non-related prokaryotes. This review article focuses on the m ain mechanisms of bacterial microevolution responsible for the rapid emerge nce of variants with novel virulence and resistance properties. In addition , processes of macroevolution are described with special emphasis on gene t ransfer and fixation of adaptive mutations in the genome of pathogens.