Pathogenesis of tuberculosis and other mycobacteriosis

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© 2017 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica The evolution between Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and active tuberculosis is multifactorial and involves different biological scales. The synthesis of ESAT-6 or the induction of alveolar macrophage necrosis are key, but to understand it, it is necessary to consider the dynamics of endogenous and exogenous reinfection, drainage of lung parenchyma and respiratory mechanics, local fibrosis processes and blood supply. Paradoxically, the immune response generated by the infection is highly protective (90%) against active tuberculosis, although as it is essentially based on the proliferation of Th1 lymphocytes, it cannot prevent reinfection. Severe immunosuppression can only explain 10% of active tuberculosis cases, while the remainder are attributable to comorbidities, a proinflammatory environment and an unknown genetic propensity. The pathogenic capacity of environmental mycobacteria is discrete, linked to deficits in the innate and acquired immune response. The ability to generate biofilms and the ability of M. ulcerans to generate the exotoxin mycolactone is remarkable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-46
JournalEnfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiologia Clinica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Dynamic hypothesis
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Pathogenicity


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