Caister Academic Press

Hypervirulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Nicola Casali
from: Mycobacterium: Genomics and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Tanya Parish and Amanda Brown). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)

Abstract

Tuberculosis outbreaks are often caused by hypervirulent strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In experimental animal infections, these clinical isolates elicit unusual immunopathology and may be either hyper- or hypoinflammatory. Similarly, recombinant hypervirulent M. tuberculosis mutants, which exhibit increased bacterial burden or decreased host survival times in model infections, induce a spectrum of inflammatory responses. The majority of hypervirulent mutants identified have deletions in cell wall modifying enzymes or regulators that respond to environmental stimuli. Studies of these mutants have provided insight into the mechanisms that enable M. tuberculosis to mask its full pathogenic potential, inducing a granuloma that provides a protective niche and enables the bacilli to sustain a long-term persistent infection read more ...
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