Tuberculosis and the art of macrophage manipulation

S. Upadhyay, E. Mittal, J. A. Philips

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Macrophages are first-line responders against microbes. The success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) rests upon its ability to convert these antimicrobial cells into a permissive cellular niche. This is a remarkable accomplishment, as the antimicrobial arsenal of macrophages is extensive. Normally bacteria are delivered to an acidic, degradative lysosome through one of several trafficking pathways, including LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) and autophagy. Once phagocytozed, the bacilli are subjected to reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and they induce the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, which serve to augment host responses. However, Mtb hijacks these host defense mechanisms, manipulating host cellular trafficking, innate immune responses, and cell death pathways to its benefit. The complex series of measures and countermeasures between host and pathogen ultimately determines the outcome of infection. In this review, we focus on the diverse effectors that Mtb uses in its multipronged effort to subvert the innate immune responses of macrophages. We highlight recent advances in understanding the molecular interface of the Mtb-macrophage interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfty037
JournalPathogens and disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Inflammasome
  • LC3-associated phagocytosis
  • Phagosome maturation
  • Tuberculosis

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