Interactions between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host cells: are mycobacterial sugars the key?

Trends Microbiol. 1998 Aug;6(8):328-35. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(98)01301-8.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis has evolved successful strategies to invade and persist within macrophages. Intimate pathogen-macrophage contacts dictate receptor choice and probably specify the intracellular fate of these microorganisms. Binding to specific receptors, such as complement receptor type 3, could provide an advantage. These interactions appear to involve surface polysaccharides and glycolipids.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / metabolism
  • Mannose / metabolism
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / metabolism*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / physiology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • surfactant protein A receptor
  • Mannose