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Front Immunol. 2018 Dec 19;9:2976. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02976. eCollection 2018.

Beyond Killing Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Disease Tolerance.

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Meakins-Christie Laboratories, Departments of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology McGill University, McGill International TB Centre, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada.


Host defense strategies against infectious diseases are comprised of both host resistance and disease tolerance. Resistance is the ability of the host to prevent invasion or to eliminate the pathogen, while disease tolerance is defined by limiting the collateral tissue damage caused by the pathogen and/or the immune response without exerting direct effects on pathogen growth. Our incomplete understanding of host immunity against tuberculosis (TB) is predominately rooted in our bias toward investigating host resistance. Thus, we must refocus our efforts to understand the entire spectrum of immunity against M. tuberculosis to control TB.


adaptive immunity; disease tolerance; host defense against pathogenic bacteria; innate immunity; tuberculosis

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