Bacterial Interactions with Mucosal Epithelial Cells

Julia L. Hurwitz, Carlos Orihuela, Victor J. DiRita, Elaine Tuomanen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Dynamic host-pathogen relationships take place at the mucosal epithelia of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The nasal mucosa harbors a rich microbial community that transitions to a relatively sparse microbiome in the lung; in contrast, pathogenic interactions in the gut must override an abundant commensal flora. In all these sites, pathogens exploit normal host cell processes to their advantage. Co-opting the host's machinery implies that diverse pathogens target similar receptors and that common themes of pathogenesis can be elucidated. This is especially true of the respiratory tract and may form the basis of medical interventions. Virtually all mucosal pathogens adhere to and then invade the epithelial cells of their target organ. The details of these interactions are discussed in the framework of not only cell biology, but also the host response. The innate and adaptive immune responses are as critical to eliminating the pathogens as to causing symptoms secondary to inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMucosal Immunology: Fourth Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780124159754, 9780124158474
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Bordetella
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Microbiome
  • Nasal colonization
  • Pneumococcus
  • Pneumonia
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Yersinia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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