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Cell Microbiol. 2006 Nov;8(11):1687-96. Epub 2006 Aug 24.

How do microbes evade neutrophil killing?

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Department of Cellular Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Charit├ęplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


Many microbial pathogens evolved to circumvent the attack of neutrophils, which are essential effector cells of the innate immune system. Here we review six major strategies that pathogenic bacteria and fungi use to evade neutrophil defences: (i) turning on survival and stress responses, (ii) avoiding contact, (iii) preventing phagocytosis, (iv) surviving intracellularly, (v) inducing cell death and (vi) evading killing by neutrophil extracellular traps. For each category we give examples and further focus on one particular pathogenic microbe in more detail. Pathogens include Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Yersinia ssp., Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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