VFDB 2022: a general classification scheme for bacterial virulence factors

Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Jan 7;50(D1):D912-D917. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab1107.


The virulence factor database (VFDB, http://www.mgc.ac.cn/VFs/) is dedicated to presenting a comprehensive knowledge base and a versatile analysis platform for bacterial virulence factors (VFs). Recent developments in sequencing technologies have led to increasing demands to analyze potential VFs within microbiome data that always consist of many different bacteria. Nevertheless, the current classification of VFs from various pathogens is based on different schemes, which create a chaotic situation and form a barrier for the easy application of the VFDB dataset for future panbacterial metagenomic analyses. Therefore, based on extensive literature mining, we recently proposed a general category of bacterial VFs in the database and reorganized the VFDB dataset accordingly. Thus, all known bacterial VFs from 32 genera of common bacterial pathogens collected in the VFDB are well grouped into 14 basal categories along with over 100 subcategories in a hierarchical architecture. The new coherent and well-defined VFDB dataset will be feasible and applicable for future panbacterial analysis in terms of virulence factors. In addition, we introduced a redesigned JavaScript-independent web interface for the VFDB website to make the database readily accessible to all users with various client settings worldwide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Bacterial Proteins / classification
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Data Mining
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Knowledge Bases
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Software*
  • Virulence Factors / classification
  • Virulence Factors / genetics*
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Virulence Factors