Mechanisms of microbial traversal of the blood-brain barrier

Kwang Sik Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

254 Scopus citations


Central nervous system (CNS) infections continue to be an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Microbial invasion and traversal of the blood-brain barrier is a prerequisite for CNS infections. Pathogens can cross the blood-brain barrier transcellularly, paracellularly and/or in infected phagocytes (the so-called Trojan-horse mechanism). Consequently, pathogens can cause blood-brain barrier dysfunction, including increased permeability, pleocytosis and encephalopathy. A more complete understanding of the microbial-host interactions that are involved in microbial traversal of the blood-brain barrier and the associated barrier dysfunction should help to develop new strategies to prevent CNS infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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