Shared characteristics between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and fungi contribute to virulence.


Willcocks, S; Wren, BW; (2014) Shared characteristics between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and fungi contribute to virulence. Future microbiology, 9. pp. 657-68. ISSN 1746-0913 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2217/fmb.14.29

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Abstract

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an etiologic agent of tuberculosis, exacts a heavy toll in terms of human morbidity and mortality. Although an ancient disease, new strains are emerging as human population density increases. The emergent virulent strains appear adept at steering the host immune response from a protective Th1 type response towards a Th2 bias, a feature shared with some pathogenic fungi. Other common characteristics include infection site, metabolic features, the composition and display of cell surface molecules, the range of innate immune receptors engaged during infection, and the ability to form granulomas. Literature from these two distinct fields of research are reviewed to propose that the emergent virulent strains of M. tuberculosis are in the process of convergent evolution with pathogenic fungi, and are increasing the prominence of conserved traits from environmental phylogenetic ancestors that facilitate their evasion of host defenses and dissemination.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
PubMed ID: 24957092
Web of Science ID: 337941100013
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1805415

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