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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2008 Feb;6(2):99-110. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1821.

Exit strategies of intracellular pathogens.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


The exit of intracellular pathogens from host cells is an important step in the infectious cycle, but is poorly understood. It has recently emerged that microbial exit is a process that can be directed by organisms from within the cell, and is not simply a consequence of the physical or metabolic burden that is imposed on the host cell. This Review summarizes our current knowledge on the diverse mechanisms that are used by intracellular pathogens to exit cells. An integrated understanding of the diversity that exists for microbial exit pathways represents a new horizon in the study of host-pathogen interactions.

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