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Nat Med. 2003 Jul;9(7):831-5.

CpG motifs: the active ingredient in bacterial extracts?

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  • 1Coley Pharmaceutical Group, Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481, USA.


The use of bacteria and bacterial extracts for immunotherapy has a checkered past. Recent developments in immunology reveal that these nonspecific immune activators actually work by triggering specific receptors that are expressed by subsets of immune cells. Identification of these receptors and the molecular signaling pathways that they activate has enabled a new era of specific targeted immunotherapy using chemically synthesized mimics of pathogen molecules.

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