Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 May;7(5):367-74. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2114.

Do symbiotic bacteria subvert host immunity?

Author information

Department of Immunology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.


The mammalian intestine is home to dense and complex indigenous bacterial communities. Most of these bacteria establish beneficial symbiotic relationships with their hosts, making important contributions to host metabolism and digestive efficiency. The vast numbers of intestinal bacteria and their proximity to host tissues raise the question of how symbiotic host-bacterial relationships are established without eliciting potentially harmful immune responses. In light of the varied ways in which pathogenic bacteria manipulate host immunity, this Opinion article explores the role of immune suppression, subversion and evasion in the establishment of symbiotic host-bacterial associations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center