Despite the development of potentially curative chemotherapy, tuberculosis (TB) continues to cause increasing worldwide morbidity and is a leading cause of human mortality in the developing world. Recent advances in bacterial molecular genetics, immunology, and human genetics have yielded insight into the molecular determinants of virulence, the immune responses that are essential for restricting progressive disease, and the determinants of immunopathology in TB. Despite these advances, a large knowledge gap still exists that limits the development and testing of new interventions, including novel drugs and efficacious vaccines. This review focuses on our current knowledge of TB pathogenesis and immunity that has been derived from in vitro and in vivo studies. In addition, it highlights topics that need to be better understood to provide improved means of controlling TB worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-384
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease
StatePublished - 2012


  • Acquired immunity
  • Granuloma
  • Immune evasion
  • Innate immunity
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Phagosome maturation


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