Document Detail

Color me bad: microbial pigments as virulence factors.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19726196     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A hallmark feature of several pathogenic microbes is the distinctive color of their colonies when propagated in the clinical laboratory. Such pigmentation comes in a variety of hues, and has often proven useful in presumptive clinical diagnosis. Recent advances in microbial pigment biochemistry and the genetic basis of pigment production have sometimes revealed a more sinister aspect to these curious materials that change the color of reflected light by selective light absorbance. In many cases, the microbial pigment contributes to disease pathogenesis by interfering with host immune clearance mechanisms or by exhibiting pro-inflammatory or cytotoxic properties. We review several examples of pigments that promote microbial virulence, including the golden staphyloxanthin of Staphylococcusaureus, the blue-green pyocyanin of Pseudomonas spp., and the dark brown or black melanin pigments of Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus spp. Targeted pigment neutralisation might represent a viable concept to enhance treatment of certain difficult infectious disease conditions.
George Y Liu; Victor Nizet
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2009-08-31
Journal Detail:
Title:  Trends in microbiology     Volume:  17     ISSN:  1878-4380     ISO Abbreviation:  Trends Microbiol.     Publication Date:  2009 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-09-14     Completed Date:  2009-11-03     Revised Date:  2014-09-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9310916     Medline TA:  Trends Microbiol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  406-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Bacteria / chemistry*,  pathogenicity*
Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
Pigments, Biological / chemistry,  metabolism*,  pharmacology
Virulence Factors / metabolism*
Grant Support
AIO7432//PHS HHS; HD051796/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD051796/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD051796-04/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; //Wellcome Trust
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Pigments, Biological; 0/Virulence Factors

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