Host Cell Invasion by Streptococcus pneumoniae
Streptococcus pneumoniae remains one of the world’s leading invasive human pathogens causing pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. Infants and toddlers between 18 months and 4 years of age are particularly susceptible (Tuomanen et al., 1995). Virtually every child up to age 5 will experience pneumococcal otitis media while the incidence of pneumonia (1000 per 100,000 inhabitants) and meningitis (10 per 100,000 inhabitants) is much lower. However, pneumococcal meningitis continues to be a serious threat with a mortality of 25% and a morbidity of 80% in children. Despite the development of novel antibiotics, the mortality from pneumococcal meningitis has not changed significantly during the last 20 years. Taken together with increasing antibiotic resistance among pneumococci, it has become imperative to improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which this bacterium colonizes, invades and kills its victims. The development of vaccines and novel adjunctive drugs targeting defined pneumococcal virulence determinants is a crucial goal of current research.
KeywordsSialic Acid Streptococcus Pneumoniae Brain Endothelial Cell Pneumococcal Meningitis Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cell
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