Pathogenic Microorganisms Definition
The virulence factor database (VFDB) is an integrated and comprehensive online resource for curating information about virulence factors of bacterial pathogens. Since its inception in 2004, VFDB has been dedicated to providing up-to-date knowledge of VFs from various medically significant bacterial pathogens.
The motivation for constructing VFDB was twofold:
First, to provide in-depth coverage major virulence factors of the best-characterized bacterial pathogens, with the structure features, functions and mechanisms used by these pathogens to allow them to conquer new niches and to circumvent host defense mechanisms, and cause disease.
Second, to provide current knowledge of the wide variety of mechanisms used by bacterial pathogens for researchers to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms in bacterial diseases that are not yet well characterized and to develop new rational approaches to the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.
A bacterial pathogen is usually defined as any bacterium that has the capacity to cause disease. Its ability to cause disease is called pathogenicity.
Virulence provides a quantitative measure of the pathogenicity or the likelihood of causing disease.
Virulence factors refer to the properties (i.e., gene products) that enable a microorganism to establish itself on or within a host of a particular species and enhance its potential to cause disease. Virulence factors include bacterial toxins, cell surface proteins that mediate bacterial attachment, cell surface carbohydrates and proteins that protect a bacterium, and hydrolytic enzymes that may contribute to the pathogenicity of the bacterium.
Database conventions for text search and explanation of figure legends
Frequently asked questions
Chen LH, Zheng DD, Liu B, Yang J and Jin Q, 2016. VFDB 2016: hierarchical and refined dataset for big data analysis-10 years on. Nucleic Acids Res. 44(Database issue):D694-D697. [Full text] [PDF]
Chen LH, Xiong ZH, Sun LL, Yang J and Jin Q, 2012. VFDB 2012 update: toward the genetic diversity and molecular evolution of bacterial virulence factors. Nucleic Acids Res. 40(Database issue):D641-D645. [Full text] [PDF]
Yang J, Chen LH, Sun LL, Yu J and Jin Q, 2008. VFDB 2008 release: an enhanced web-based resource for comparative pathogenomics. Nucleic Acids Res. 36(Database issue):D539-D542. [Full text] [PDF]
Chen LH, Yang J, Yu J, Yao ZJ, Sun LL, Shen Y and Jin Q, 2005. VFDB: a reference database for bacterial virulence factors. Nucleic Acids Res. 33(Database issue):D325-D328. [Full text] [PDF]