Molecular Koch's postulates applied to microbial pathogenicity

Rev Infect Dis. Jul-Aug 1988;10 Suppl 2:S274-6. doi: 10.1093/cid/10.supplement_2.s274.


Microbial genetics and molecular cloning now permit us to routinely isolate specific genes from a variety of microbial pathogens. Obviously not all genes from pathogenic microorganisms play a role in pathogenicity or virulence. Just as Koch's postulates were formulated to identify the causal relationship between an organism and a specific disease, the notion is presented here that a form of molecular Koch's postulates is needed when examining the potential role of genes and their products in the pathogenesis of infection and disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Virulence