Background: Pathogenic microbes routinely keep encountering different types of stress in their environment
such as high osmolarity, high temperature, pH fluctuations in host gut etc. They tend to acquire certain small
molecular weight molecules, termed osmolytes, so as to handle these challenges and survive in harsh conditions.
These osmolytes include some which are self-synthesized by the microorganisms, while majority of them are imbibed
from the external environment via osmolyte transporters.
Methods: In this review, we have discussed work done on osmolytes and their transport systems, which influence
upon sustenance and virulence of the pathogens under the given stress conditions.
Results: Osmolytes and their transport systems play vital role in efficient maintenance of cell turgidity and electrolyte
levels for proper cell functioning. These molecules don’t disturb normal metabolic processes within the microbial
cell at all; it rather stabilizes the macromolecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins. Besides, these osmolytes
also empower the microbes with the pathogenicity potential under harsh conditions such as salt, pH, temperature
stress, and the efficient host immunity.
Conclusion: Exploring avenues with respect to osmolyte transport systems is the need of the hour especially in this
time where we are facing the evolution of antibiotic resistance in pathogens. Most interestingly, a detailed study of
bacterial stress responses would prove to be useful in comprehending what these pathogens face in the host microenvironment,
whereby we can manipulate the pathogen survival in human gut, and hence address the menace of pathogenic
resistance in humans as well as animals.