Published in TB and Outbreaks Week, November 11th, 1996
At 2 million deaths per year, tuberculosis is the most lethal infectious disease. But the molecular basis for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) pathogenesis and for the mechanisms of protective immunity remain an enigma, thwarting efforts to develop an effective vaccine.
In 1992, J.L. Flynn and colleagues demonstrated that major histocompatibility complex (MHC) type I-restricted T-cells are required for mice to resist MTB infection (PNAS, 1992;89:2243-7).
But this clue itself raised a question: how can MTB, which after infecting a cell...
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