Streptococcus pneumoniae

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Streptococcus pneumoniae

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Pneumococcus: Nature’s Tiniest Cheat

To a pathogenic microbe, the human body is a foreboding environment filled with bacteriocidal immune cells ready to seek out and destroy foreign invaders. When a leukocyte detects the presence of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) present on the surface of pathogenic bacteria, it releases an array of cytokines, mounting an immune response and bringing about an abrupt end to the pathogen’s colonizing campaign.

However, as a testament to bacterial evolution, many species of bacteria have developed tactics to evade the host immune system. Such trickery includes hiding within the safety of host cells, releasing free antigens into the blood to inactivate antibodies, or coating…

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Last Updated : Sunday, February 2, 2020