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Nature Reviews Microbiology


Viral infection: When two become one


Two recent studies provide new insights into the fusion stage of HIV-1 entry.

Biofilms: Building up the matrix


Two independent recent studies have revealed how distinct components of the biofilm matrix contribute to its architectural stability and functionality.

Bacterial physiology: Efflux pumps, fitness and virulence


Two new studies explore the effect of overexpression of efflux pumps on bacterial fitness as well as the effect of loss of efflux function on virulence.

Bacterial physiology: Raising the alarm


The targeted degradation of foreign nucleic acids by type III CRISPR–Cas systems is mediated by the multisubunit Csm interference complex. In addition, the CRISPR-associated protein Csm6 ribonuclease, which does not form part of the Csm complex, degrades foreign RNAs to provide full immunity, but how

Viral pathogenesis: Finding the enemy within


Ebola virus (EBOV) can persist for many months after survivors have recovered from acute EBOV disease and cause post-EBOV syndrome. Understanding EBOV persistence in vivo has been challenging owing to the lack of an animal model, but now Zeng et al. report the

Parasite genomics: Screening for the essentials


Functional genome-wide screens in Plasmodium spp. parasites, the causative agents of malaria, have been lacking, as they are refractory to genetic manipulation. Now, a new study by Bushell et al. reports the findings of an in vivo genetic screen that identified essential

Bacterial pathogenesis: Bacteriophages, the glue that holds bacteria together


A recent study provides a mechanism by which a bacteriophage may increase the translocation of Neisseria meningitidis into the bloodstream.

Bacterial genetics: Splitting is never easy


Two recent studies shed light on the mechanisms that coordinate cell division with chromosomal replication and segregation in two distinct bacterial species.

Epidemiology: Anthrax threatens wildlife


Anthrax is a bacterial disease that affects wild and domestic animals, as well as humans. Although outbreaks have mostly been reported in arid ecosystems of the African savannahs, lethal anthrax-like cases in wild chimpanzees were reported in a rainforest habitat, and the causative agent was

Microbiota: Tell me who you are and I'll tell you what you eat


The gut microbiota of Drosophila melanogaster mainly comprises Acetobacter spp. and Lactobacillus spp., and their relative abundance changes at the individual level and throughout development; however, how the microbiota is assembled is not well understood. Chun-Nin Wong et al. manipulated the

Bacterial pathogenesis: Vibrio enters 'sleep mode' to survive


Vibrio cholerae is a water-borne pathogen that can cause cholera, an acute and severe gastrointestinal infection. A recent study by Silva-Valenzuela et al. investigated how this bacterium adapts to, and survives in, fresh water, which is an environment that is crucial for human

Stronger together


This month's Genome Watch discusses how genome-wide epistasis analysis and genome-to-genome analyses are providing insights into the relevance of interactions between and within the genomes of pathogens and their hosts.

Pseudomonas predators: understanding and exploiting phage–host interactions


Species in the genus Pseudomonas thrive in a diverse set of ecological niches and include crucial pathogens, such as the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. The bacteriophages that infect Pseudomonas spp. mirror the widespread and diverse

Transmission of the gut microbiota: spreading of health


Transmission of commensal intestinal bacteria between humans could promote health by establishing, maintaining and replenishing microbial diversity in the microbiota of an individual. Unlike pathogens, the routes of transmission for commensal bacteria remain unappreciated and poorly understood, despite the likely commonalities between both. Consequently, broad

Engineering of obligate intracellular bacteria: progress, challenges and paradigms


It is estimated that approximately one billion people are at risk of infection with obligate intracellular bacteria, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms that govern their life cycles. The difficulty in studying Chlamydia spp., Coxiella spp., Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma

Viral effects on the content and function of extracellular vesicles


The release of membrane-bound vesicles from cells is being increasingly recognized as a mechanism of intercellular communication. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) or exosomes are produced by virus-infected cells and are thought to be involved in intercellular communication between infected and uninfected cells. Viruses, in particular oncogenic

Antimalarial drug discovery — approaches and progress towards new medicines


Nature Reviews Microbiology11, 849–862 (2013)In the above article, the structure of DSM265 in figure 3 was missing a methyl group. This has now been corrected in the PDF and online. We apologize to readers for any confusion