Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a marine microorganism that causes acute gastroenteritis associated with the consumption of contaminated raw or under cooked seafood. During infection, the bacterium utilizes a wide variety of virulence factors, including adhesins, toxins and type III secretion systems, to cause both cytotoxicity in cultured cells and enterotoxicity in animal models. Herein, we describe recent discoveries on the regulation and characterization of the virulence factors from V. para. Determining how this bacterial pathogen uses virulence factors to mediate pathogenicity improves our understanding of V. para. infections and more generally, host-pathogen interactions.
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