Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Manipulator of Protective Immunity

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Feb 25;17(3):131. doi: 10.3390/ijms17030131.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is one of the most successful pathogens in human history and remains a global health challenge. MTB has evolved a plethora of strategies to evade the immune response sufficiently to survive within the macrophage in a bacterial-immunological equilibrium, yet causes sufficient immunopathology to facilitate its transmission. This review highlights MTB as the driver of disease pathogenesis and presents evidence of the mechanisms by which MTB manipulates the protective immune response into a pathological productive infection.

Keywords: foamy macrophage; granuloma; mycobacterium; tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immune Evasion*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity
  • Tuberculoma / immunology*
  • Tuberculoma / microbiology