Microbial genome analysis: insights into virulence, host adaptation and evolution

Nat Rev Genet. 2000 Oct;1(1):30-9. doi: 10.1038/35049551.


Genome analysis of microbial pathogens has provided unique insights into their virulence, host adaptation and evolution. Common themes have emerged, including lateral gene transfer among enteric pathogens, genome decay among obligate intracellular pathogens and antigenic variation among mucosal pathogens. The advent of post-genomic approaches and the sequencing of the human genome will enable scientists to investigate the complex and dynamic interplay between host and pathogen. This wealth of information will catalyse the development of new intervention strategies to reduce the burden of microbial-related disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics*
  • Antigenic Variation
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Virulence / genetics*