Caister Academic Press

Consequences of Pathogenic Neisseria Infection on Cellular Apoptosis

Sarah A. Follows and Paola Massari
from: Neisseria: Molecular Mechanisms of Pathogenesis (Edited by: Caroline Genco and Lee Wetzler). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


A number of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites, have evolved mechanisms to subvert apoptosis by either positively or negatively modulating host defenses. In particular, the inhibition of the apoptotic process by microbial pathogens has previously demonstrated importance in securing intracellular niches, which may be an important mechanism for microbial survival, replication or immune evasion. Similarly, the induction of apoptosis may be beneficial to pathogens by promoting escape from host cells or diminishing their effector functions, again promoting immune evasion. Conflicting studies have reported that infection with the facultative intracellular pathogens Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis can either inhibit or induce apoptosis. Reports on Neisserial influence on the apoptotic response of host cells have been published consistently for almost ten years and will be the focus of this chapter. Overall, it seems that Neisseria species more often inhibit apoptosis, and this inhibition may allow time for adaptation to a new environment, intracellular replication, or immune evasion presumably leading to the spread of infection read more ...
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