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Virulence Factors of Meningitis-Causing Bacteria: Enabling Brain Entry across the Blood–Brain Barrier

Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(21), 5393; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215393
Received: 26 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 29 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Virulence Factors)
Infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are still a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Traversal of the barriers protecting the brain by pathogens is a prerequisite for the development of meningitis. Bacteria have developed a variety of different strategies to cross these barriers and reach the CNS. To this end, they use a variety of different virulence factors that enable them to attach to and traverse these barriers. These virulence factors mediate adhesion to and invasion into host cells, intracellular survival, induction of host cell signaling and inflammatory response, and affect barrier function. While some of these mechanisms differ, others are shared by multiple pathogens. Further understanding of these processes, with special emphasis on the difference between the blood–brain barrier and the blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier, as well as virulence factors used by the pathogens, is still needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteria; blood–brain barrier; blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier; meningitis; virulence factor bacteria; blood–brain barrier; blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier; meningitis; virulence factor
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Herold, R.; Schroten, H.; Schwerk, C. Virulence Factors of Meningitis-Causing Bacteria: Enabling Brain Entry across the Blood–Brain Barrier. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5393.

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