Pathogenic bacteria must withstand diverse host environments during infection. Environmental signals, such as pH, temperature, nutrient limitation, etc., not only trigger adaptive responses within bacteria to these specific stress conditions but also direct the expression of virulence genes at an appropriate time and place. An appreciation of stress responses and their regulation is therefore essential for an understanding of bacterial pathogenesis. This review considers specific stresses in the host environment and their relevance to pathogenesis, with a particular focus on the enteric pathogen Salmonella.
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