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Toxin–Antitoxin Systems and their Role in Maintaining the Pathogenic Potential of Causative Agents of Sapronoses

Author(s):

Boris G. Andryukov*, Larisa M. Somova, Nellie F. Timchenko, Marina P. Bynina and Irina N. Lyapun   Pages 1 - 15 ( 15 )

Abstract:


In interepidemic periods, a sapronoses typically employs a variety of mechanisms for maintaining viability of its causative agent in terrestrial parasitic systems, associated with different adaptive strategies utilized by its populations to survive. Unlike spore-forming bacteria, causative agents of sapronoses use resistant cell forms, which is a viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state, and persistence. Implementation of these strategies is conditioned by effects of various stress factors of the habitat and is characterized by decreased metabolism, alteration of the morphology and physiology of bacterial cell, and cessation of its replication. It is important that the resistant forms of cells retain virulence and, as favorable conditions come, turn back into the active vegetative form again. The discovery of the genetic modules of bacterial toxin–antitoxin systems (TAS) in recent years has made it possible to identify a number of complicated regulatory molecular mechanisms responsible for maintaining the pathogenic potential of resistant forms of causative agents of natural-focus sapronoses in interepidemic periods. Based on the key role of TAS in the survival of pathogenic bacteria and in the progress of infection, the modern technologies, used to create alternative antibacterial strategies, consider these systems as promising goals for the development of new antimicrobial targets.

Keywords:

toxin–antitoxin systems (TAS), toxin–antitoxin genetic module, sapronoses, resistant (dormant) cell form of bacteria, viable but nonculturable (VBNC) cell, persistence

Affiliation:

Somov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Vladivostok, 690087, Somov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Vladivostok, 690087, Somov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Vladivostok, 690087, Somov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Vladivostok, 690087, Somov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Vladivostok, 690087



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