The role of motility as a virulence factor in bacteria

Int J Med Microbiol. 2002 Mar;291(8):605-14. doi: 10.1078/1438-4221-00173.


Many bacteria that cause diseases of humans, animals and plants use flagella to move. This review summarises recent studies that have analysed the role of motility and chemotaxis in the host-parasite relationship of pathogenic bacteria. These studies have shown that for many pathogens, motility is essential in some phases of their life cycle and that virulence and motility are often intimately linked by complex regulatory networks. Possibilities to exploit bacterial motility as a specific therapeutic antibacterial target to cure or prevent disease are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Chemotaxis / physiology
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology
  • Virulence