Recent advances in our understanding of human host responses to tuberculosis

Respir Res. 2001;2(3):157-63. doi: 10.1186/rr53. Epub 2001 Mar 29.


Tuberculosis remains one of the world's greatest public health challenges: 2 billion persons have latent infection, 8 million people develop active tuberculosis annually, and 2-3 million die. Recently, significant advances in our understanding of the human immune response against tuberculosis have occurred. The present review focuses on recent work in macrophage and T-cell biology that sheds light on the human immune response to tuberculosis. The role of key cytokines such as interferon-gamma is discussed, as is the role of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in immune regulation in tuberculosis, particularly with regard to implications for vaccine development and evaluation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / physiology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Phagocytosis / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Tuberculosis / genetics
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*