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Cell Microbiol. 2009 May;11(5):703-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2009.01294.x. Epub 2009 Feb 2.

Listeria monocytogenes infection in the face of innate immunity.

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  • 1School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.


Pathogen recognition and induction of immune responses are important for efficient elimination of infection. However, pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes employ strategies to evade or modulate these defences, thus creating a more favourable environment that ensures their survival and pathogenesis. New insights into these strategies, particularly those targeting innate immunity, have recently emerged. L. monocytogenes is initially detected at the cell surface or in phagosomes by toll-like receptor 2 and in the cytosol by nuclear oligodimerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NOD1, NOD2) and NALP3 and Ipaf. It carries out N-deacetylation of peptidoglycan to avoid this detection by toll-like receptor 2 and NOD-like receptors. L. monocytogenes modulates transcription of host immunity genes through modification of histones and chromatin remodelling. Furthermore, L. monocytogenes has recently been shown to avoid autophagy and induce apoptosis in immune effector cells. In this review we discuss some of these strategies, which have provided new insights into the interaction between L. monocytogenes and the immune response at a crucial stage of infection.

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