Modulating immunity as a therapy for bacterial infections

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2012 Mar 16;10(4):243-54. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2745.


Despite our efforts to halt the increase and spread of antimicrobial resistance, bacteria continue to become less susceptible to antimicrobial drugs over time, and rates of discovery for new antibiotics are declining. Thus, it is essential to explore new paradigms for anti-infective therapy. One promising approach involves host-directed immunomodulatory therapies, whereby natural mechanisms in the host are exploited to enhance therapeutic benefit. The objective is to initiate or enhance protective antimicrobial immunity while limiting inflammation-induced tissue injury. A range of potential immune modulators have been proposed, including innate defence regulator peptides and agonists of innate immune components such as Toll-like receptors and NOD-like receptors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Bacterial Infections / therapy*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunomodulation*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Nod Signaling Adaptor Proteins / immunology
  • Nod Signaling Adaptor Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Nod Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Toll-Like Receptors