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Curr Opin Immunol. 2003 Aug;15(4):450-5.

Immune evasion by Mycobacterium tuberculosis: living with the enemy.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, W1157 Biomedical Science Tower, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis is successful as a pathogen because of its ability to persist in an immunocompetent host. This bacterium lives within the macrophage, a cell whose function is the elimination of microbes. Recent advances have improved our understanding of how M. tuberculosis evades two major antimicrobial mechanisms of macrophages: phagolysosome fusion and the production of toxic reactive nitrogen intermediates. M. tuberculosis also modulates antigen presentation to prevent the detection of infected macrophages by CD4(+) T cells.

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