Anergy and Other Immunologic Perturbances in Mycobacterial Infections

  • P. H. Lagrange
  • B. Hurtrel
Part of the Infectious Agents and Pathogenesis book series (IAPA)


The clinical and histologic features of any infectious disease are the result not only of the toxic and invasive properties of the pathogen but of the immune reactions of the host as well. In most cases, the host-immune response leads to a reaction that rapidly eliminates the pathogen, but in other cases the immune mechanisms fail and the outcome of the infection is a fatal one. In still other cases, the host and the pathogen engage in a long drawn-out conflict and the disease becomes chronic. Alternatively, the immune reaction may be abnormal or exaggerated and may damage the host more than the invader. In the case of mycobacteria, it is the cell-mediated immune (CMI) response rather than the production of antibody that appears to be of importance in overcoming the infections. Undoubtedly, antibodies are produced in response to naturally occurring and experimental mycobacterial infections, but there is no evidence that they play any role in host defense. Indeed, there is some evidence that serum factors (possibly antibody) may have harmful effects, through antibody-dependent immunopathology1 or by enhancing the growth of the challenging mycobacteria.2


Tuberculin Skin Testing Suppressor Cell Mycobacterial Infection Mycobacterial Antigen Lepromatous Leprosy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Lagrange
    • 1
  • B. Hurtrel
    • 1
  1. 1.Cellular Immunophysiology Unit, Experimental Physiopathology DepartmentInstitut PasteurParisFrance

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