Phagocyte sabotage: disruption of macrophage signalling by bacterial pathogens

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2003 May;4(5):385-96. doi: 10.1038/nrm1104.


Macrophages function at the front line of immune defences against incoming pathogens. But the ability of macrophages to internalize bacteria, migrate, recruit other immune cells to the site of infection and influence the nature of the immune response can provide unintended benefits for bacterial pathogens that are able to subvert or co-opt these normally effective defences. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the many interference strategies that are used by bacterial pathogens to undermine macrophage signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Interferons / metabolism
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Macrophages / ultrastructure
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Signal Transduction* / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Interferons
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases