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Nature Reviews Microbiology


Viral evolution: Zika is on point to increase spread


This study suggests that the valine residue at position 188 of NS1 has a crucial role in antigenaemia, which is essential for the transmission of Zika virus from mammalian hosts to mosquitoes.

Parasite biology: New insights into Plasmodium hepatocyte entry


Liver infection by Plasmodium spp. sporozoites is a crucial initial step in the life cycle of malaria parasites; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still poorly understood. Now, a new study provides molecular insights into hepatocyte invasion by Plasmodium spp. sporozoites. The authors

Viral evolution: Phage infection strategies


The functional consequences of divergent phage evolution on infection have not been analysed until now. By using transcriptomics analyses, Blasdel et al. compared the infection strategies of two evolutionarily related phages, PAK_P3 and PAK_P4, against the same Pseudomonas aeruginosa host strain. They showed

Fungal physiology: Acidic pH interferes with Candida persistence


Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that can colonize host niches at varying pH. A study by Sherrington et al. shows that the growth of C. albicans in acidic environments results in structural changes to the cell wall that enhance its

Bacterial pathogenesis: Campylobacter follows the clues


Luethy et al. show that metabolites produced by the gut microbiota can modulate the expression of Campylobacter jejuni determinants that are required for growth, commensalism and virulence.

Bacterial evolution: The origins of pathogenic enterococci


This study investigates the origins of multidrug-resistant pathogenic enterococci.

Bacterial physiology: An inside job on metabolism


Two new studies reveal how Mycobacterium tuberculosis adapts to environmental stresses that are associated with an intracellular lifestyle.

Genome watch: Klebsiella pneumoniae: when a colonizer turns bad


This month's Genome Watch highlights how whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and epidemiological studies can be combined to explore the link between colonization and infection by Klebsiella pneumoniae in patients who are hospitalized.

Oxidative stress, protein damage and repair in bacteria


Oxidative damage can have a devastating effect on the structure and activity of proteins, and may even lead to cell death. The sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine are particularly susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive chlorine species (RCS), which can damage proteins.

Ménage à trois in the human gut: interactions between host, bacteria and phages


The human gut is host to one of the densest microbial communities known, the gut microbiota, which contains bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi and other microbial eukaryotes. Bacteriophages in the gut are largely unexplored, despite their potential to regulate bacterial communities and thus human health. In

Ustilago maydis effectors and their impact on virulence


Biotrophic fungal plant pathogens establish an intimate relationship with their host to support the infection process. Central to this strategy is the secretion of a range of protein effectors that enable the pathogen to evade plant immune defences and modulate host metabolism to meet its

Next-generation approaches to understand and combat the antibiotic resistome


Antibiotic resistance is a natural feature of diverse microbial ecosystems. Although recent studies of the antibiotic resistome have highlighted barriers to the horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between habitats, the rapid global spread of genes that confer resistance to carbapenem, colistin and quinolone antibiotics

Leukocidins: staphylococcal bi-component pore-forming toxins find their receptors


Staphylococcus aureus is a major bacterial pathogen that causes disease worldwide. The emergence of strains that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics and the failure of vaccine development have resulted in a renewed interest in the pathophysiology of this bacterium. Staphylococcal leukocidins are a

Anti-trypanosomatid drug discovery: an ongoing challenge and a continuing need


Nature Reviews Microbiology15, 217–231 (2017)In figure 2b of this article, the structures of Pafuramidine and DB75 were incorrect. The mistakes have been corrected in the PDF and online. The authors apologize to readers for any confusion caused.