Common strategies for antigenic variation by bacterial, fungal and protozoan pathogens. Review uri icon

Overview

MeSH

  • Animals
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans

MeSH Major

  • Antigenic Variation
  • Bacteria
  • Eukaryota
  • Fungi

abstract

  • The complex relationships between infectious organisms and their hosts often reflect the continuing struggle of the pathogen to proliferate and spread to new hosts, and the need of the infected individual to control and potentially eradicate the infecting population. This has led, in the case of mammals and the pathogens that infect them, to an 'arms race', in which the highly adapted mammalian immune system has evolved to control the proliferation of infectious organisms and the pathogens have developed correspondingly complex genetic systems to evade this immune response. We review how bacterial, protozoan and fungal pathogens from distant evolutionary lineages have evolved surprisingly similar mechanisms of antigenic variation to avoid eradication by the host immune system and can therefore maintain persistent infections and ensure their transmission to new hosts.

publication date

  • July 2009

has subject area

  • Animals
  • Antigenic Variation
  • Bacteria
  • Eukaryota
  • Fungi
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans

Research

keywords

  • Journal Article
  • Review

Identity

Language

  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3676878

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nrmicro2145

PubMed ID

  • 19503065

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 493

end page

  • 503

volume

  • 7

number

  • 7