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To be cytosolic or vacuolar: the double life of Listeria monocytogenes

Abstract : Intracellular bacterial pathogens are generally classifie d into two types: those that exploit host membrane trafficking to construct specific nich es in vacuoles (i.e., “vacuolar pathogens”), and those that escape from vacuoles into the cy tosol, where they proliferate and often spread to neighboring cells (i.e., “cytosolic pat hogens”). However, the boundary between these distinct intracellular phenotypes is tenuous and may depend on the timing of infection and on the host cell type. Here, we d iscuss recent progress highlighting this phenotypic duality in Listeria monocytogenes , which has long been a model for cytosolic pathogens, but now emerges as a bacteriu m also capable of residing in vacuoles, in a slow/non-growing state. The ability of L. monocytogenes to enter a persistence stage in vacuoles might play a role during the as ymptomatic incubation period of listeriosis and/or the carriage of this pathogen i n asymptomatic hosts. Moreover, persistent vacuolar Listeria could be less susceptible to antibiotics and more difficult t o detect by routine techniques of clinical biology. These hyp otheses deserve to be explored in order to better manage the risks related to this food-born e pathogen.
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Hélène Bierne, Eliane Milohanic, Mounia Kortebi. To be cytosolic or vacuolar: the double life of Listeria monocytogenes. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, Frontiers, 2018, 8, ⟨10.3389/fcimb.2018.00136⟩. ⟨hal-02629277⟩

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