Definition of virulence gene in US English:

virulence gene


  • A gene whose presence or activity in an organism's genome is responsible for the pathogenicity of an infective agent.

    • ‘Diphtheria is likely not the only case of a harmless organism becoming ‘pathogenic because of virulence genes brought by a prophage or plasmid.’’
    • ‘This breaks a long-standing assumption among scientists that disabling a potential virulence gene weakens a pathogen.’
    • ‘However, inhibitors of these virulence gene products may be used in combination with existing drugs to improve the regime of chemotherapy 31.’
    • ‘Our preliminary observation suggests the presence of a new virulence gene in K. pneumoniae which is responsible for causing diarrhoea in children.’
    • ‘It provides a mechanism for regulating virulence genes with respect to the density of members of their own species and, in some cases, of other species.’


virulence gene

/ˈvir(y)ələns ˌjēn/