Bacterial extracellular vesicles: an emerging avenue to tackle diseases

Trends Microbiol. 2023 Dec;31(12):1206-1224. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2023.05.010. Epub 2023 Jun 15.


A growing body of research, especially in recent years, has shown that bacterial extracellular vesicles (bEVs) are one of the key underlying mechanisms behind the pathogenesis of various diseases like pulmonary fibrosis, sepsis, systemic bone loss, and Alzheimer's disease. Given these new insights, bEVs are proposed as an emerging vehicle that can be used as a diagnostic tool or to tackle diseases when used as a therapeutic target. To further boost the understanding of bEVs in health and disease we thoroughly discuss the contribution of bEVs in disease pathogenesis and the underlying mechanisms. In addition, we speculate on their potential as novel diagnostic biomarkers and how bEV-related mechanisms can be exploited as therapeutic targets.

Keywords: bacterial extracellular vesicles (bEVs); cytoplasmic membrane vesicles (CMVs); diagnostic biomarker; host–pathogen interaction; outer membrane vesicles (OMVs); pathogenesis; therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Humans
  • Sepsis* / diagnosis