Rapid detection and elimination of pathogens invasive to intestinal tissue is essential to avoid prolonged gut inflammation, or systemic sepsis. The discovery of transmembrane or intracytoplasmic pattern recognition receptors that detect the presence of conserved microbial macromolecular structures has significantly advanced the understanding of how metazoans respond to and eliminate bacteria that have entered the intestinal mucosa. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the field of host recognition of bacterial pathogens and subsequent mucosal innate immune response. Additionally, some bacteria are pathogenic because they have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to evade the host mucosal innate immune response. We discuss advances in identifying the mechanisms by which pathogens evade detection by dampening the immune response.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.