Direct manipulation of T lymphocytes by proteins of gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens

Robin L Cassady-Cain, Jayne C Hope, Mark P Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastrointestinal bacterial infection represents a significant threat to human health, as well as a burden on food animal production and welfare. Although there is advanced knowledge about the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis, including the development of immune responses to these pathogens, gaps in knowledge persist. It is well established that gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens produce a myriad of proteins that affect the development and effectiveness of innate immune responses. However, relatively few proteins that directly affect lymphocytes responsible for humoral or cell-mediated immunity and memory have been identified. Here, we review factors produced by gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens that have direct T cell interactions and what is known about their functions and mechanisms of action. T cell interacting bacterial proteins that have been identified to date mainly target three major T cell responses: activation and expansion, chemotaxis or apoptosis. Further, the requirement for more focused studies to identify and understand additional mechanisms used by bacteria to directly affect the T cell immune response and how these may contribute to pathogenesis is highlighted. Increased knowledge in this area will help to drive development of better interventions in prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal bacterial infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00683-17
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number5
Early online date16 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Journal Article

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