Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is an important cause of infections, including meningitis. The molecular events underlying its pathogenesis are poorly understood. A study in this issue of the JCI reports that the GBS invasion-associated gene (iagA) contributes to meningeal infection and virulence by facilitating invasion of the cells that compose the blood-brain barrier and of other host cells. The mechanism involved most likely relates to the gene product’s role in synthesis of a glycolipid anchor for a bacterial cell-surface entity that interacts directly with host cells.
Miriam J. Baron, Dennis L. Kasper