Adhesion determinants of the Streptococcus species
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2009
© 2009 Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics s.r.l. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 3, Issue 4, pages 370–388, July 2010
How to Cite
Moschioni, M., Pansegrau, W. and Barocchi, M. A. (2010), Adhesion determinants of the Streptococcus species. Microbial Biotechnology, 3: 370–388. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7915.2009.00138.x
- Issue published online: 24 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2009
- Received 20 March, 2009; revised 24 June, 2009; accepted 25 June, 2009.
Streptococci are clinically important Gram-positive bacteria that are capable to cause a wide variety of diseases in humans and animals. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA sequences of the streptococcal species reveal a clustering pattern, reflecting, with a few exceptions, their pathogenic potential and ecological preferences. Microbial adhesion to host tissues is the initial critical event in the pathogenesis of most infections. Streptococci use multiple adhesins to attach to the epithelium, and their expression is regulated in response to environmental and growth conditions. Bacterial adhesins recognize and bind cell surface molecules and extracellular matrix components through specific domains that for certain adhesin families have been well defined and found conserved across the streptococcal species. In this review, we present the different streptococcal adhesin families categorized on the basis of their adhesive properties and structural characteristics, and, when available, we focus the attention on conserved functional domains.