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What makes pathogens pathogenic

Garth D Ehrlich12*, N Luisa Hiller1 and Fen Ze Hu12

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny General Hospital/Allegheny Singer Research Institute, 320 E. North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Allegheny Campus, 320 E. North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA

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Genome Biology 2008, 9:225  doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-6-225

Published: 24 June 2008


Metazoans contain multiple complex microbial ecosystems in which the balance between host and microbe can be tipped from commensalism to pathogenicity. This transition is likely to depend both on the prevailing environmental conditions and on specific gene-gene interactions placed within the context of the entire ecosystem.