Quorum Sensing in Streptococci
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Emerging studies aimed at understanding the molecular underpinnings of streptococcal infections highlight the importance of quorum sensing (QS) for biofilm formation and virulence in many streptococcal species. Among streptococci, the best characterized quorum sensing system belongs to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Although initially QS was believed to act mainly to acquire and incorporate foreign DNA into the host chromosome, studies implicating its involvement in biofilm formation, fratricide as well as virulence suggested a broader and more varied role for this system in S. pneumoniae. In this chapter, we will discuss the QS system of pneumococci, as well as other streptococci including Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus pyogenes. Furthermore, we will also discuss some interesting studies that have been conducted recently to target QS as a tool to combat or modulate infections associated with streptococcal biofilms.
KeywordsQuorum Sense Necrotizing Fasciitis Histidine Kinase Streptococcus Mutans Bacteriocin Production