Using Knowledge of Virulence Factors to Select or Design Organisms with Low Risk of Pathogenicity

  • Stanley Falkow
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 45)


As Omenn and others have emphasized, applying our knowledge of ecology, physiology, and genetics of microbes to the pollution cleanup challenges of our society may require that microorganisms be deliberately released into the environment. Naturally, there are scientists, legislators, and laymen who view such an action with concern. Among their concerns are what the potential danger to human and animal health might be. Fortunately, a fair amount is known about the factors that are involved in microbial pathogenicity. Can we use this knowledge to design genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) destined for release into the environment to have a minimal impact on animal or plant health? A medical microbiologist will immediately respond, “Of course. It has already been done for decades in human and veterinary medicine.”


Pertussis Toxin Ciliated Cell Toxic Shock Syndrome Bordetella Pertussis Whooping Cough 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Falkow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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