The case for hypervirulence through gene deletion in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

ten Bokum, A M C and Movahedzadeh, F and Frita, R and Bancroft, G J and Stoker, N G (2008) The case for hypervirulence through gene deletion in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TRENDS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 16 (9). pp. 436-441.

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Abstract

Deletion of genes in a pathogen is commonly associated with a reduction in its ability to cause disease. However, some rare cases have been described in the literature whereby deletion of a gene results in an increase in virulence. Recently, there have been several reports of hypervirulence resulting from gene deletion in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here, we explore this phenomenon in the context of the interaction between the pathogen and the host response.