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Biology 2013, 2(3), 1054-1109; doi:10.3390/biology2031054

The Biology of Neisseria Adhesins

Neisseria Research, Molecular Microbiology, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Sir Henry Wellcome Laboratories, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2013 / Revised: 1 July 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 29 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Adhesion)
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Members of the genus Neisseria include pathogens causing important human diseases such as meningitis, septicaemia, gonorrhoea and pelvic inflammatory disease syndrome. Neisseriae are found on the exposed epithelia of the upper respiratory tract and the urogenital tract. Colonisation of these exposed epithelia is dependent on a repertoire of diverse bacterial molecules, extending not only from the surface of the bacteria but also found within the outer membrane. During invasive disease, pathogenic Neisseriae also interact with immune effector cells, vascular endothelia and the meninges. Neisseria adhesion involves the interplay of these multiple surface factors and in this review we discuss the structure and function of these important molecules and the nature of the host cell receptors and mechanisms involved in their recognition. We also describe the current status for recently identified Neisseria adhesins. Understanding the biology of Neisseria adhesins has an impact not only on the development of new vaccines but also in revealing fundamental knowledge about human biology.
Keywords: Neisseria; meningitis; gonorrhoea; bacterial adhesin; host cell receptor; structure Neisseria; meningitis; gonorrhoea; bacterial adhesin; host cell receptor; structure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hung, M.-C.; Christodoulides, M. The Biology of Neisseria Adhesins. Biology 2013, 2, 1054-1109.

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