Biomedical applications of genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions of human pathogens

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2018 Jun;51:70-79. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.11.014. Epub 2017 Dec 7.


The growing global threat of antibiotic resistant human pathogens has coincided with improved methods for developing and using genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions. Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of high-quality reconstructions of relevant human and zoonotic pathogens. Novel biomedical applications of pathogen reconstructions focus on three key aspects of pathogen behavior: the evolution of antibiotic resistance, virulence factor production, and host-pathogen interactions. New methods using these reconstructions aim to improve understanding of microbe pathogenicity and guide the development of new therapeutic strategies. This review summarizes the latest ways that genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions have been used to study human pathogens and suggests future applications with the potential to mitigate infectious disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genome*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Infections / etiology
  • Infections / genetics*
  • Infections / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways*