Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the face of host-imposed nutrient limitation

Michael Berney, Linda Berney-Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Coevolution of pathogens and host has led to many metabolic strategies employed by intracellular pathogens to deal with the immune response and the scarcity of food during infection. Simply put, bacterial pathogens are just looking for food. As a consequence, the host has developed strategies to limit nutrients for the bacterium by containment of the intruder in a pathogen-containing vacuole and/or by actively depleting nutrients from the intracellular space, a process called nutritional immunity. Since metabolism is a prerequisite for virulence, such pathways could potentially be good targets for antimicrobial therapies. In this chapter, we review the current knowledge about the in vivo diet of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with a focus on amino acid and cofactors, discuss evidence for the bacilli's nutritionally independent lifestyle in the host, and evaluate strategies for new chemotherapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberTBTB2-0030-2016
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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