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Shigella and Enteroinvasive Escherichia Coli

  • Ilia Belotserkovsky
  • Philippe J. Sansonetti
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series


Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) are gram-negative bacteria responsible for bacillary dysentery (shigellosis) in humans, which is characterized by invasion and inflammatory destruction of the human colonic epithelium. Different EIEC and Shigella subgroups rose independently from commensal E. coli through patho-adaptive evolution that included loss of functional genes interfering with the virulence and/or with the intracellular lifestyle of the bacteria, as well as acquisition of genetic elements harboring virulence genes. Among the latter is the large virulence plasmid encoding for a type three secretion system (T3SS), which enables translocation of virulence proteins (effectors) from the bacterium directly into the host cell cytoplasm. These effectors enable the pathogen to subvert epithelial cell functions, promoting its own uptake, replication in the host cytosol, and dissemination to adjacent cells while concomitantly inhibiting pro-inflammatory cell death. Furthermore, T3SS effectors are directly involved in Shigella manipulation of immune cells causing their dysfunction and promoting cell death. In the current chapter, we first describe the evolution of the enteroinvasive pathovars and then summarize the overall knowledge concerning the pathogenesis of these bacteria, with a particular focus on Shigella flexneri. Subversion of host cell functions in the human gut, both epithelial and immune cells, by different virulence factors is especially highlighted.



The authors wish to thank Mark Anderson and Laurie Pinaud for critical reading of the chapter and proofreading.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne MoléculaireInstitut PasteurParisFrance
  2. 2.Microbiologie et Maladies Infectieuses, Collège de FranceParisFrance

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