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Toxin Destroys Macrophages, Enabling Anthrax to Invade Host

microscopic view of specimen

NIEHS-supported children's health researchers at the University of California at San Diego discovered that B. anthrax evades the host immune system, using a toxin called lethal factor to destroy macrophages and spread throughout the body. These results may explain why anthrax infections proceed nearly undetected until the patient is very sick and near death.

Tags: immune


Park JM, Greten FR, Li ZW, Karin M. 2002. Macrophage apoptosis by anthrax lethal factor through p38 MAP kinase inhibition. Science 297(5589):2048-2051. [Abstract] [PDF] [Full Text]

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News Release:

  • 2002: Molecular Mechanism Underlying Anthrax Infection Described by NIEHS-Funded Researchers

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