The Importance of First Impressions: Early Events in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection Influence Outcome

mBio. 2016 Apr 5;7(2):e00342-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00342-16.


Tuberculosis remains a major health threat in much of the world. New vaccines against Mycobacterium tuberculosis are essential for preventing infection, disease, and transmission. However, the host immune responses that need to be induced by an effective vaccine remain unclear. Increasingly, it has become clear that early events in infection are of major importance in the eventual outcome of the infection. Studying such events in humans is challenging, as they occur within the lung and thoracic lymph nodes, and any clinical signs of early infection are relatively nonspecific. Nonetheless, clinical studies and animal models of tuberculosis have provided new insights into the local events that occur in the first few weeks of tuberculosis. Development of an effective vaccine requires a clear understanding of the successful (and detrimental) early host responses against M. tuberculosis, with the goal to improve upon natural immune responses and prevent infection or disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / physiology*
  • Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology*
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines / genetics
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines / immunology


  • Tuberculosis Vaccines