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During colonization and disease, bacterial pathogens must survive the onslaught of the host immune system. A key component of the innate immune response is the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species by phagocytic cells, which target and disrupt pathogen molecules, particularly DNA, and the base excision repair (BER) pathway is the most important mechanism for the repair of such oxidative DNA damage. In this Review, we discuss how the human-specific pathogens Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Helicobacter pylori and Neisseria meningitidis have evolved specialized mechanisms of DNA repair, particularly their BER pathways, compared with model organisms such as Escherichia coli. This specialization in DNA repair is likely to reflect the distinct niches occupied by these important human pathogens in the host.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nrmicro3391

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Rev Microbiol

Publication Date

02/2015

Volume

13

Pages

83 - 94

Keywords

Bacteria, Bacterial Infections, DNA Damage, DNA Repair, DNA, Bacterial, Humans, Immunity, Innate