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Immunol Cell Biol. 2000 Aug;78(4):301-10.

How to establish a lasting relationship with your host: lessons learned from Mycobacterium spp.

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Department of Microbiology, Washington University, St Louis, MO, USA.


Mycobacterium spp. enjoy an intracellular lifestyle that is fatal to most microorganisms. Bacilli persist and multiply within mononuclear phagocytes in the face of defences ranging from toxic oxygen and nitrogen radicals, acidic proteases and bactericidal peptides. Uptake of Mycobacterium by phagocytes results in the de novo formation of a phagosome, which is manipulated by the pathogen to accommodate its needs for intracellular survival and replication. The present review describes the intracellular compartment occupied by Mycobacterium spp. and presents current ideas on how mycobacteria may establish this niche, placing special emphasis on the involvement of mycobacterial cell wall lipids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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