What are the mechanisms that increase virulence in bacterial pneumonia?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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General mechanisms of increased virulence include the following:

  • Genetic flexibility allowing the development of resistance to various classes of antibiotics

  • Flagellae and other bacterial appendages that facilitate spread of infection

  • Capsules resistant to attack by immune defense cells and that facilitate adhesion to host cells

  • Quorum sensing systems allow coordination of gene expression based on complex cell-signaling for adaptation to the local cellular environment

  • Iron scavenging

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