The role of type III secretion System 2 in Vibrio parahaemolyticus pathogenicity

Hyeilin Ham, Kim Orth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a Gram-negative marine bacterial pathogen, is emerging as a major cause of food-borne illnesses worldwide due to the consumption of raw seafood leading to diseases including gastroenteritis, wound infection, and septicemia. The bacteria utilize toxins and type III secretion system (T3SS) to trigger virulence. T3SS is a multi-subunit needle-like apparatus used to deliver bacterial proteins, termed effectors, into the host cytoplasm which then target various eukaryotic signaling pathways. V. parahaemolyticus carries two T3SSs in each of its two chromosomes, named T3SS1 and T3SS2, both of which play crucial yet distinct roles during infection: T3SS1 causes cytotoxicity whereas T3SS2 is mainly associated with enterotoxicity. Each T3SS secretes a unique set of effectors that contribute to virulence by acting on different host targets and serving different functions. Emerging studies on T3SS2 of V. parahaemolyticus, reveal its regulation, translocation, discovery, characterization of its effectors, and development of animal models to understand the enterotoxicity. This review on recent findings for T3SS2 of V. parahaemolyticus highlights a novel mechanism of invasion that appears to be conserved by other marine bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus
  • bacterial pathogenesis
  • enterotoxicity
  • gastroenteritis
  • type III secretion system
  • virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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