Infectious disease, the innate immune response, and fibrosis

J Clin Invest. 2007 Mar;117(3):530-8. doi: 10.1172/JCI30595.


The unrelenting and destructive progression of most fibrotic responses in the pulmonary, cardiovascular, integumentary, and alimentary systems remains a major medical challenge for which therapies are desperately needed. The pathophysiology of fibrosis remains an enigma, but considerable research and debate surrounds the question of whether chronic inflammation is the key driver of unrestrained wound healing (i.e., the fibrotic response) in these and other organ systems. This Review describes how infectious pathogens, chronic inflammation, and unrestrained fibroproliferation are likely to be part of a dynamic, unrelenting process propelling human fibrotic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Communicable Diseases / complications*
  • Communicable Diseases / microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases / parasitology
  • Fibrosis / etiology*
  • Fibrosis / immunology
  • Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Wound Healing