The role of cytokines in mycobacterial infection

  • J. H. Champsi
  • Luiz E. Bermundez
  • L. S. Young


Mycobacterial infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The pathogenesis of infection and the mechanisms for the development of protective immunity are poorly known, but cytokines appear to play an important role in the modulation of the immune response. Evidence exists for the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in the host defense against mycobacteria. In this article we discuss recent findings about the role of cytokines in leprosy, tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium infection, using in vitro and in vivo human and murine data.

Key words

mycobacteria cytokines tuberculosis leprosy Mycobacterium avium complex 



Mycobacterium tuberculois


interferon gamma


tumor necrosis factor-alpha










cell-mediated immunity


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome


granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor




transforming growth factor ß


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Champsi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luiz E. Bermundez
    • 1
  • L. S. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Kuzell Institute for Arthritis and Infectious DiseasesCalifornia Pacific Medical Center Research InstituteSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Infectious Diseases and Geographical MedicineStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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