Caister Academic Press

The Glycome of Neisseria spp.: How Does this Relate to Pathogenesis?

Stephanie N. Bartley and Charlene M. Kahler
from: Pathogenic Neisseria: Genomics, Molecular Biology and Disease Intervention (Edited by: John K. Davies and Charlene M. Kahler). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


The genus Neisseria consists of two important human pathogens, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis in addition to nine commensal species. In both N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae interactions with the human host are modulated by the glycome on the surface of the bacteria which includes the lipooligosaccharide and the glycosylation status of the pilin. Capsule, which is expressed by N. meningitidis but not N. gonorrhoeae, also modulates interaction with host epithelial cells but has a major role in enabling systemic disease by contributing to resistance to the host immune system. Because of the central importance of the glycome to the pathogenesis of gonococci and meningococci, it is important to reflect on whether these attributes are shared with commensal species or have specialised roles in pathogenesis. This review will undertake to summarize the considerable knowledge underpinning the genetics and biosynthesis pathways for the neisserial glycome in pathogenic and non-pathogenic neisseria, in addition to examining the roles of the different components of the glycome on the interaction of Neisseria sp. with the human host read more ...
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