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Immunity. 2007 Feb;26(2):149-61.

Debugging how bacteria manipulate the immune response.

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Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne Moléculaire, Institut Pasteur, 28 Rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris, Cedex 15, France.


Beyond the innate response that is elicited when tissues are infected, bacterial pathogens have evolved strategies to subvert the immune response and "recalibrate" it both qualitatively and quantitatively, thereby achieving a balance consistent with the survival of both the microbe and its infected host, a compromise that is likely the result of a long process of coevolution between pathogens and their hosts. By collaboratively studying the mechanisms employed, microbiologists and immunologists are fostering development of a renewed approach of infectious diseases that is expected to provide useful new concepts and applications for their control. In addition, the molecular strategies developed by bacteria to dampen immune mechanisms result from such strong and prolonged selective pressure for survival that they may point to original mechanisms and targets to conceive novel immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and anti-infectious molecules.

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