The extracellular vesicle generation paradox: a bacterial point of view.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

All bacteria produce secreted vesicles that carry out a variety of important biological functions. These extracellular vesicles can improve adaptation and survival by relieving bacterial stress and eliminating toxic compounds, as well as by facilitating membrane remodeling and ameliorating inhospitable environments. However, vesicle production comes with a price. It is energetically costly and, in the case of colonizing pathogens, it elicits host immune responses, which reduce bacterial viability. This raises an interesting paradox regarding why bacteria produce vesicles and begs the question as to whether the benefits of producing vesicles outweigh their costs. In this review, we discuss the various advantages and disadvantages associated with Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial vesicle production and offer perspective on the ultimate score. We also highlight questions needed to advance the field in determining the role for vesicles in bacterial survival, interkingdom communication, and virulence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McMillan, HM; Kuehn, MJ

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 21

Start / End Page

  • e108174 -

PubMed ID

  • 34636061

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8561641

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-2075

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0261-4189

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.15252/embj.2021108174


  • eng