Intracellular immunity: Finding the enemy within-how cells recognize and respond to intracellular pathogens

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Journal Article
Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 2014, 96 (2), pp. 233 - 244
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Historically, once a cell became infected, it was considered to be beyond all help. By this stage, the invading pathogen had breached the innate defenses and was beyond the reach of the humoral arm of the adaptive immune response. The pathogen could still be removed by cell-mediated immunity (e.g., by NK cells or cytotoxic T lymphocytes), but these mechanisms necessitated the destruction of the infected cell. However, in recent years, it has become increasingly clear that many cells possess sensor and effector mechanisms for dealing with intracellular pathogens. Most of these mechanisms are not restricted to professional immune cells nor do they all necessitate the destruction of the host. In this review, we examine the strategies that cells use to detect and destroy pathogens once the cell membrane has been penetrated. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.
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