Latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis-persistence, patience, and winning by waiting

Nat Med. 2000 Dec;6(12):1327-9. doi: 10.1038/82139.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a globally successful pathogen due to its ability to persist for long periods of time unrecognized by the human immune system. The panoply of genes that allows the organism to enter latency and then re-emerge later during endogenous reinfection are now being elucidated. Novel antimicrobials and vaccines will need to target these mycobacterial pathogenic mechanisms to suceed against tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Adaptation, Biological
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology*