5 years ago

Unraveling Neisseria meningitidis pathogenesis: from functional genomics to experimental models [version 1; referees: 2 approved]

Marco Soriani
Neisseria meningitidis is a harmless commensal bacterium finely adapted to humans. Unfortunately, under “privileged” conditions, it adopts a “devious” lifestyle leading to uncontrolled behavior characterized by the unleashing of molecular weapons causing potentially lethal disease such as sepsis and acute meningitis. Indeed, despite the lack of a classic repertoire of virulence genes in N. meningitidis separating commensal from invasive strains, molecular epidemiology and functional genomics studies suggest that carriage and invasive strains belong to genetically distinct populations characterized by an exclusive pathogenic potential. In the last few years, “omics” technologies have helped scientists to unwrap the framework drawn by N. meningitidis during different stages of colonization and disease. However, this scenario is still incomplete and would benefit from the implementation of physiological tissue models for the reproduction of mucosal and systemic interactions in vitro. These emerging technologies supported by recent advances in the world of stem cell biology hold the promise for a further understanding of N. meningitidis pathogenesis.

Publisher URL: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-1228/v1

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.11279.1

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