Bile sensing: The activation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence

Vengadesh Letchumanan, Kok Gan Chan, Tahir M. Khan, Sarah I. Bukhari, Nurul Syakima Ab Mutalib, Bey Hing Goh, Learn Han Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Bacteria must develop resistance to various inhospitable conditions in order to survive in the human gastrointestinal tract. Bile, which is secreted by the liver, and plays an important role in food digestion also has antimicrobial properties and is able to disrupt cellular homeostasis. Paradoxically, although bile is one of the guts defenses, many studies have reported that bacteria such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus can sense bile and use its presence as an environmental cue to upregulate virulence genes during infection. This article aims to discuss how bile is detected by V. parahaemolyticus and its role in regulating type III secretion system 2 leading to human infection. This bile-bacteria interaction pathway gives us a clearer understanding of the biochemical and structural analysis of the bacterial receptors involved in mediating a response to bile salts which appear to be a significant environmental cue during initiation of an infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number728
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017


  • Bacteria
  • Bile
  • Human gastrointestinal tract
  • Type III secretion system 2
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Cite this