The immunology of mycobacterial infections

Critical Reviews in Microbiology
S D Chaparas


Mycobacteria are endowed with substances that profoundly affect the immune system. Leprosy and tuberculosis exemplify broad spectra of useful and detrimental immune responses of mycobacterial infections that range from intense potentiation to severe specific adn nonspecific suppression of humoral and cellular immune elements. The cellular hypersensitivity induced by mycobacteria serves as a classical model for the analysis of specific and nonspecific immune mechanisms. Mycobacterial disease are prevalent worldwide and rank among the most important bacterial diseases. The kaleidoscope of immunologic events induced by injected mycobacteria and during infections will be reviewed from the standpoint of pathogenesis, pathology, in vitro and in vivo effects on cellular and humoral arms of the immune response, diagnosis, classification, potentiation and suppression.


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