Elucidating the mechanism

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In the brain, when meningococci adhere to the vessels they can pass through the blood-brain barrier[1], and cause meningitis when they invade the meninges[2].

Teams of researchers have deciphered how Neisseria meningitidis adheres to blood vessels, a step that underpins the bacterium's pathogenicity.

, also called meningococcus, is a bacterium responsible for meningitis and septicemia[1].

[2] Envelopes that protect the central nervous system.

[3] A receptor is a protein in the cell membrane onto which a specific factor (a ligand) can bind, triggering a response in the cell. Bernard, Nandi Simpson, Olivier Join-Lambert, Christian Federici, Marie-Pierre Laran-Chich, Nawal Maïssa, Haniaa Bouzinba-Ségard, Philippe C.

The researchers have determined that two pilins, Pil E and Pil V, interact directly with the CD147 receptor.

Without them, meningococci cannot adhere to endothelial cells.

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