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Annu Rev Microbiol. 1999;53:155-87.

The induction of apoptosis by bacterial pathogens.

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Department of Microbiology, Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York 10016, USA.


Apoptosis is a highly regulated process of cell death that is required for the development and homeostasis of multicellular organisms. In contrast to necrosis, apoptosis eliminates individual cells without inducing an inflammatory response. Activation or prevention of cell death could be a critical factor in the outcome of an infection. Programmed cell death has been observed as a response to infection by a wide range of animal and plant pathogens and is mediated by an array of pathogen-encoded virulence determinants. Pathogen-induced modulation of the host cell-death pathway may serve to eliminate key immune cells or evade host defenses that can act to limit the infection. Alternatively, suppression of the death pathway may facilitate the proliferation of intracellular pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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