Quorum sensing by enteric pathogens


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewThis review presents advances in our understanding of how pathogenic, enteric bacteria use quorum sensing to regulate several traits that allow them to establish and maintain infection in their host, including motility, biofilm formation, and virulence-specific genes.Recent findingsQuorum sensing in enteric bacteria has been elusive for a long time. Recent data indicate that enteric bacteria use several quorum-sensing mechanisms including the LuxR-I quorum-sensing system, the LuxS/AI-2 system, and the AI-3/epinephrine/norepinephrine system to assess their environment and to recognize the host environment. These systems allow bacteria to communicate across species boundaries, and the AI-3/epinephrine/norepinephrine system is involved in interkingdom signaling.SummaryRecent developments in our understanding of the molecular and biochemical mechanisms involved in quorum sensing as well as the chemical signal(s) to which bacteria respond and their corresponding physiological responses will improve our understanding of bacterial pathogenesis and microbial flora–host interactions, and potentially lead to novel strategies for combating infection.

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