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Trends Microbiol. 2002 Mar;10(3):142-6.

Hijacking the host: survival of pathogenic mycobacteria inside macrophages.

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  • 1Division of Biochemistry, Biozentrum/Pharmazentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50-70, CH 4056, Basel, Switzerland.


Mycobacteria are among the most persistent pathogens known today: one-third of the global population is latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an organism that is responsible for approximately 2.5 million deaths each year. One key to the pathogenic potential of the mycobacteria lies in their capacity to resist destruction by macrophages. Although it has long been recognized that mycobacteria achieve such resistance by interfering with phagosome--lysosome fusion, recent work has shed some more light on the molecular basis of this highly efficient survival strategy.

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