Delivery of dangerous goods: type III secretion in enteric pathogens

Int J Med Microbiol. 2002 Mar;291(8):593-603. doi: 10.1078/1438-4221-00179.


Type III secretion systems (TTSSs) of Gram-negative pathogens are molecular syringes that inject bacterial virulence factors directly into host cells. These virulence factors manipulate host cell pathways to aid bacterial survival within the host. Four important enteric pathogens use TTSSs to colonize and persist within the intestinal environment. The following is a brief review of the way in which TTSSs and their effectors contribute to the pathogenic nature of the prototypic diarrheal pathogens Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Dysentery, Bacillary / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Salmonella / metabolism
  • Salmonella / pathogenicity*
  • Salmonella Infections / metabolism
  • Shigella / metabolism
  • Shigella / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors / physiology*
  • Yersinia / metabolism
  • Yersinia / pathogenicity*
  • Yersinia Infections / metabolism


  • Virulence Factors