Nontuberculous mycobacteria, macrophages, and host innate immune response

Masoud Shamaei, Mehdi Mirsaeidi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Although nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are considered opportunistic infections, incidence and prevalence of NTM infection are increasing worldwide becoming a major public health threat. Innate immunity plays an essential role in mediating the initial host response against these intracellular bacteria. Specifically, macrophages phagocytose and eliminate NTM and act as antigen-presenting cells, which trigger downstream activation of cellular and humoral adaptive immune responses. Identification of macrophage receptors, mycobacterial ligands, phagosome maturation, autophagy/necrosis, and escape mechanisms are important components of this immunity network. The role of the macrophage in mycobacterial disease has mainly been studied in tuberculosis (TB), but limited information exists on its role in NTM. In this review, we focus on NTM immunity, the role of macrophages, and host interaction in NTM infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00812-20
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 15 2021


  • Innate immune response
  • Intracellular pathogen
  • Macrophages
  • Mycobacteria
  • Nontuberculous infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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