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Cell Microbiol. 2006 Nov;8(11):1720-9. Epub 2006 Aug 24.

Intracellular innate resistance to bacterial pathogens.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0620, USA.


Mammalian innate immunity stimulates antigen-specific immune responses and acts to control infection prior to the onset of adaptive immunity. Some bacterial pathogens replicate within the host cell and are therefore sheltered from some protective aspects of innate immunity such as complement. Here we focus on mechanisms of innate intracellular resistance encountered by bacterial pathogens and how some bacteria can evade destruction by the innate immune system. Major strategies of intracellular antibacterial defence include pathogen compartmentalization and iron limitation. Compartmentalization of pathogens within the host endocytic pathway is critical for generating high local concentrations of antimicrobial molecules, such as reactive oxygen species, and regulating concentrations of divalent cations that are essential for microbial growth. Cytosolic sensing, autophagy, sequestration of essential nutrients and membrane attack by antimicrobial peptides are also discussed.

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