The role of Streptococcus pneumoniae virulence factors in host respiratory colonization and disease.

Research paper by Aras A Kadioglu, Jeffrey N JN Weiser, James C JC Paton, Peter W PW Andrew

Indexed on: 15 Mar '08Published on: 15 Mar '08Published in: Nature Reviews Microbiology


Streptococcus pneumoniae is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that colonizes the mucosal surfaces of the host nasopharynx and upper airway. Through a combination of virulence-factor activity and an ability to evade the early components of the host immune response, this organism can spread from the upper respiratory tract to the sterile regions of the lower respiratory tract, which leads to pneumonia. In this Review, we describe how S. pneumoniae uses its armamentarium of virulence factors to colonize the upper and lower respiratory tracts of the host and cause disease.