Formate Promotes Shigella Intercellular Spread and Virulence Gene Expression

  • Benjamin J. Koestler, Carolyn R. Fisher, Shelley M. Payne
  • mBio, September 2018, ASM Journals
  • DOI: 10.1128/mbio.01777-18

A bacteria senses its own metabolism to cause disease

What is it about?

Shigella is a gastrointestinal pathogen that causes diarrheal disease. During pathogenesis, Shigella invades intestinal cells and metabolizes host sugars, and in so doing secretes the byproduct formate. We show that this formate accumulates in the host cells and causes Shigella to increase virulence factors that contribute to disease.

Why is it important?

Our findings demonstrate that Shigella uses its own metabolic byproduct to regulate pathogenesis, allowing the bacteria to coordinate its virulence according to its metabolism and intracellular density.


Benjamin Koestler

This was a really interesting study to work on, and I hope this article helps people think about different ways bacteria can sense their surroundings and communicate with each other.

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