VFDB 2012 update: toward the genetic diversity and molecular evolution of bacterial virulence factors

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Jan;40(Database issue):D641-5. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr989. Epub 2011 Nov 8.


The virulence factor database (VFDB, http://www.mgc.ac.cn/VFs/) has served as a comprehensive repository of bacterial virulence factors (VFs) for >7 years. Bacterial virulence is an exciting and dynamic field, due to the availability of complete sequences of bacterial genomes and increasing sophisticated technologies for manipulating bacteria and bacterial genomes. The intricacy of virulence mechanisms offers a challenge, and there exists a clear need to decipher the 'language' used by VFs more effectively. In this article, we present the recent major updates of VFDB in an attempt to summarize some of the most important virulence mechanisms by comparing different compositions and organizations of VFs from various bacterial pathogens, identifying core components and phylogenetic clades and shedding new light on the forces that shape the evolutionary history of bacterial pathogenesis. In addition, the 2012 release of VFDB provides an improved user interface.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Phylogeny
  • Virulence Factors / chemistry
  • Virulence Factors / classification
  • Virulence Factors / genetics*


  • Virulence Factors