Entry and Intracellular Behaviour of Shigella

  • P. J. Sansonetti
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 51)


The pathogenesis of bacillary dysentery involves invasion of the human colonic mucosa (1, 2). Invasion encompasses entry of the bacterium into epithelial cells, followed by intracellular multiplication, intra and intercellular spread and host cell killing (3). These bacteria then gain access to the lamina propria of the colonic mucosa in which a severe inflammatory reaction causes abscesses and ulcerations. The first step reflects the ability of the bacterium to induce its own phagocytosis by cells which are non professional phagocytes. It can be studied in vitro by infection of monolayers of mammalian cells such as Henle or HeLa cells (1, 4, 5). The second step requires bacteria to survive within tissues and to elicit inflammation and tissue destruction. It can be studied in assays such as the Sereny test (6), and the rabbit ligated ileal loop (7). A modification of the tissue culture assay allows quantitation of the microorganisms capacity to invade cells, multiply intracellularly and spread to adjacent cells, thus causing a cytopathic effect visualized as clear plaques on a confluent monolayer (8). Cell invasion by Shigella has recently been extensively reviewed (3, 9).


Lamina Propria Shiga Toxin Shigella Species Professional Phagocyte Human Colonic Mucosa 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Sansonetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Unite de PathogenieMicrobienne Moleculaire and Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, U199, Institut PasteurParis Cedex 15France

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