A high profile review article from MIMS group leader Barbara S. Sixt on host cell death modulation by the bacterial pathogen Chlamydia
A significant number of bacterial pathogens has the capacity to invade human cells and to exploit the interior of the host cell as growth niche. The bacteria reprogram host cellular functions to promote their growth and to suppress the intrinsic defense systems of the host cell. Pathogens have evolved to protect or compromise the viability of the host cell as their survival and life cycle within the cell depends on it. This interplay between host and microbe can be very complex. For instance, after a phase of growth, intracellular bacteria may actively induce cell death to promote their release and spread. While in other cases, the host cell may activate molecular suicide programs as defense response to restrict pathogen growth by removing the growth niche.
In a new review article published in FEMS Microbiology Reviews, MIMS group leader Barbara S. Sixt discusses the significance of this complex interplay and outstanding questions in the context of Chlamydia, a group of important pathogens causing for instance blinding eye infections, respiratory infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.