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Trends Microbiol. 2010 Nov;18(11):487-93. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2010.08.002. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Mucosal immunity in resource-limited setting: is the battle ground different?

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Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi.


In many developing countries, populations are under considerable pressure from high bacterial exposure on mucosal surfaces. Immune dysregulation in this setting is multifactorial and is driven by a range of environmental factors, undernutrition and coinfections such as measles, malaria and HIV. Disruption or subversion of respiratory-tract and intestinal epithelial barriers leads to increased invasion by mucosal pathogens and a high frequency of life-threatening bacterial disease. It is our opinion that a process of epithelial barrier dysfunction and immune dysregulation at these mucosal surfaces leads to the much higher rates of pneumonia, meningitis and severe sepsis seen in resource-limited countries.

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