Elucidating the mechanism
In the brain, when meningococci adhere to the vessels they can pass through the blood-brain barrier, and cause meningitis when they invade the meninges.
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.
 Envelopes that protect the central nervous system.
 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.