The role of complex carbohydrate catabolism in the pathogenesis of invasive streptococci

Samuel Shelburne, Michael T. Davenport, David B. Keith, James M. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Historically, the study of bacterial catabolism of complex carbohydrates has contributed to understanding basic bacterial physiology. Recently, however, genome-wide screens of streptococcal pathogenesis have identified genes encoding proteins involved in complex carbohydrate catabolism as participating in pathogen infectivity. Subsequent studies have focused on specific mechanisms by which carbohydrate utilization proteins might contribute to the ability of streptococci to colonize and infect the host. Moreover, transcriptome and biochemical analyses have uncovered novel regulatory pathways by which streptococci link environmental carbohydrate availability to virulence factor production. Herein we review new insights into the role of complex carbohydrates in streptococcal host-pathogen interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-325
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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