Pathogenic factors of vibrios with special emphasis on Vibrio vulnificus

Sumio Shinoda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Bacteria of the genus Vibrio are normal habitants of the aquatic environment and play roles for biocontrole of aquatic ecosystem, but some species are believed to be human pathogens. These species can be classified into two groups according to the types of diseases they cause: the gastrointestinal infections and the extraintestinal infections. The pathogenic species produce various pathogenic factors including enterotoxin, hemolysin, cytotoxin, protease, siderophore, adhesive factor, and hemagglutinin. We studied various pathogenic factors of vibrios with special emphasis on protease and hemolysin of V. vulnificus. V. vulnificus is now recognized as being among the most rapidly fatal of human pathogens, although the infection is appeared in patients having underlying disease(s) such as liver dysfunction, alcoholic cirrhosis or haemochromatosis. V. vulnificus protease (VVP) is thought to be a major toxic factor causing skin damage in the patients having septicemia. VVP is a metalloprotease and degrades a number of biologically important proteins including elastin, fibrinogen, and plasma proteinase inhibitors of complement components. VVP causes skin damages through activation of the Factor XII-plasma kallikrein-kinin cascade and/or exocytotic histamine release from mast cells, and a haemorrhagic lesion through digestion of the vascular basement membrane. Thus, the protease is the most probable candidate for tissue damage and bacterial invasion during an infection. Pathogenic roles and functional mechanism of other factors including hemolysins of V. vulnificus and V. mimicus are also shown in this review article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-547
Number of pages17
JournalYakugaku Zasshi
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • Hemolysin
  • Metalloprotease
  • Pathogenic vibrios
  • Vibrio vulnificus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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