Bacterial outer membrane vesicles: role in pathogenesis and host-cell interactions

Gisseth Amelia Magana Zapata, Caitlyn Harvey, Cliff0rd C. Taggart, Aoife Rodgers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are small, spherical structures released from the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria into the surrounding environment. Investigations into OMVs range from their biogenesis and cargo composition to their ability to transfer virulence factors and modulate host immune responses. This emerging understanding of OMVs has unveiled their pivotal role in the pathogenicity of infectious diseases, shedding light on their interactions with host cells, their contributions to inflammation, their potential involvement in antimicrobial resistance, and their promising use for the development of novel treatments and therapies. Numerous studies have associated the OMVs of pathogenic bacteria with the exacerbation of inflammatory diseases, underlining the significance of understanding the mechanisms associated with these vesicles to find alternatives for combating these conditions. Additionally, OMVs possess the ability to act as decoys, absorbing and neutralizing antibiotics, which significantly diminishes the efficacy of a broad spectrum of antimicrobial agents. Another subtopic of interest is OMVs produced by commensal microbiota. These vesicles are increasingly acknowledged for their mutualistic functions, significantly influencing their host’s physiology and immune responses. Consequently, OMVs play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced gut microbiota by fostering symbiotic relationships that significantly contribute to the overall health and well-being of the host. This comprehensive review aims to provide an up-to-date review of OMVs derived from Gram-negative bacteria, summarizing current research findings, and elucidating the multifaceted role of these vesicles in diverse biological contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2023


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