Host–Pathogen Specificity in Tuberculosis

  • Tania Di Pietrantonio
  • Erwin SchurrEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 783)


The host response to mycobacterial infection including tuberculosis depends on genetically controlled host and bacterial factors and their interaction. A largely unknown aspect of this interaction is whether disease results from an additive and independent effect of host and pathogen or from specific host–pathogen combinations. The preferential association of specific mycobacterial strains with specific ethnic groups provided tentative evidence in favor of host–pathogen specificity in tuberculosis and is consistent with the hypothesis of host–mycobacterial co-adaptation. Substantial evidence for specificity has now been provided by animal models and human case–control association studies. These studies indicate that differences in the host response to infection are at least in part due to specific combinations of host genetic factors and genetic and phenotypic characteristics of the infecting mycobacterial strain.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis Host–pathogen specificity BCG infection ANOVA RC strains Chemokine and chemokine-related genes Toll-like receptors Pathogen-associated molecular patterns Meningeal tuberculosis Phagosome maturation Autophagy Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McGill University Health Centre McGill Centre for the Study of Host ResistanceDepartments of Medicine and Human GeneticsMontrealCanada
  2. 2.McGill University Health Centre McGill Centre for the Study of Host ResistanceDepartments of Medicine and Human GeneticsMontrealCanada

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