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Keywords:

  • Infection mechanism;
  • Infectious disease;
  • Pathogen-host interaction;
  • Protein-protein interaction

Abstract

Infectious diseases comprise some of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Interactions between pathogen and host proteins underlie the process of infection. Improved understanding of pathogen-host molecular interactions will increase our knowledge of the mechanisms involved in infection, and allow novel therapeutic solutions to be devised. Complete genome sequences for a number of pathogenic microorganisms, as well as the human host, has led to the revelation of their protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. In this post-genomic era, pathogen-host interactions (PHIs) operating during infection can also be mapped. Detailed systematic analyses of PPI and PHI data together are required for a complete understanding of pathogenesis of infections. Here we review the striking results recently obtained during the construction and investigation of these networks. Emphasis is placed on studies producing large-scale interaction data by high-throughput experimental techniques.