Recent advances in understanding the molecular basis of group B Streptococcus virulence

Expert Rev Mol Med. 2008 Sep 22;10:e27. doi: 10.1017/S1462399408000811.


Group B Streptococcus commonly colonises healthy adults without symptoms, yet under certain circumstances displays the ability to invade host tissues, evade immune detection and cause serious invasive disease. Consequently, Group B Streptococcus remains a leading cause of neonatal pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. Here we review recent information on the bacterial factors and mechanisms that direct host-pathogen interactions involved in the pathogenesis of Group B Streptococcus infection. New research on host signalling and inflammatory responses to Group B Streptococcus infection is summarised. An understanding of the complex interplay between Group B Streptococcus and host provides valuable insight into pathogen evolution and highlights molecular targets for therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Biomedical Research
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / microbiology
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Meningitis / microbiology
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / immunology
  • Streptococcal Infections / metabolism
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Streptococcal Vaccines
  • Streptococcus / immunology
  • Streptococcus / metabolism
  • Streptococcus / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism


  • Streptococcal Vaccines
  • Virulence Factors