Innate Immunity to Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

  • Reinout van Crevel
  • Tom H. M. Ottenhoff
  • Jos W. M. van der Meer
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 531)


Although one third of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), only 5 to 10% has a lifetime risk of developing active disease. Tuberculosis can develop either within 1-2 years after infection (primary tuberculosis) or at a later date (postprimary tuberculosis). Disease localization, severity, and outcome are highly variable. For example, miliary tuberculosis, characterized by the haematogenous dissemination of large numbers of mycobacteria throughout the body, is the most serious type of disease manifestation. In contrast, tuberculous pleuritis is usually a self-limiting disease. Tuberculosis may develop anywhere in the body, but usually presents as a pulmonary infection, ranging from mild infiltration to chronic, cavitary and severely destructive disease. The different manifestations of infection with MTB reflect the balance between bacillus and host-defence mechanisms, in which the quality of host defence determines the outcome.


Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Mycobacterial Infection Immune Recognition Miliary Tuberculosis Abdominal Tuberculosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinout van Crevel
    • 1
  • Tom H. M. Ottenhoff
    • 2
  • Jos W. M. van der Meer
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Internal MedicineUniversity Medical Center NijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dept. of Immunohaematology and Blood TransfusionLeiden University Medical CenterThe Netherlands

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