The Missing Pieces: The Role of Secretion Systems in Campylobacter jejuni Virulence

Amber D. Gabbert, Jennifer L. Mydosh, Prabhat K. Talukdar, Lisa M. Gloss, Jason E. McDermott, Kerry K. Cooper, Geremy C. Clair, Michael E. Konkel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Campylobacter jejuni is likely the most common bacterial cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, responsible for millions of cases of inflammatory diarrhea characterized by severe abdominal cramps and blood in the stool. Further, C. jejuni infections are associated with post-infection sequelae in developed countries and malnutrition and growth-stunting in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the increasing prevalence of the disease, campylobacteriosis, and the recognition that this pathogen is a serious health threat, our understanding of C. jejuni pathogenesis remains incomplete. In this review, we focus on the Campylobacter secretion systems proposed to contribute to host-cell interactions and survival in the host. Moreover, we have applied a genomics approach to defining the structural and mechanistic features of C. jejuni type III, IV, and VI secretion systems. Special attention is focused on the flagellar type III secretion system and the prediction of putative effectors, given that the proteins exported via this system are essential for host cell invasion and the inflammatory response. We conclude that C. jejuni does not possess a type IV secretion system and relies on the type III and type VI secretion systems to establish a niche and potentiate disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • bacteria–host cell interactions
  • effectors
  • secretion
  • type III secretion system
  • type IV secretion system
  • type VI secretion system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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