What makes pathogens pathogenic
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
Genome Biology 2008, 9:225 doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-6-225Published: 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.