Identification of bacterial genes required for in-vivo survival.
Tang CM., Bakshi S., Sun YH.
Genetic approaches used for in-vivo studies of bacterial pathogenesis are providing insights into how bacteria disrupt host defences and exploit host molecules for their own advantage. Signature tagged mutagenesis (STM) provides a means of identifying the genes involved in the process of infection, particularly those genes that are important for bacterial proliferation in-vivo. In this review, the application of STM to the understanding of bacterial pathogenesis and findings from work on three human pathogens, Salmonella typhimurium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Neisseria meningitidis, are discussed. The next challenge is to understand how these and other genes influence the infective process at the molecular and cellular levels and to design novel interventions to block the progression of disease.