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A journey into the brain: insight into how bacterial pathogens cross blood-brain barriers

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature Reviews Microbiology
Publisher
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Jul 26, 2017
Volume
15
Issue
3
Pages
149–159
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro.2016.178
PMID: 28090076
Source
USPC - SET - SVS
License
White

Abstract

The blood–brain barrier, which is one of the tightest barriers in the body, protects the brain from insults, such as infections. Indeed, only a few of the numerous blood-borne bacteria can cross the blood–brain barrier to cause meningitis. In this Review, we focus on invasive extracellular pathogens, such as Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, group B Streptococcus and Escherichia coli, to review the obstacles that bacteria have to overcome in order to invade the meninges from the bloodstream, and the specific skills they have developed to bypass the blood–brain barrier. The medical importance of understanding how these barriers can be circumvented is underlined by the fact that we need to improve drug delivery into the brain.

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