Is IL-17 required to control tuberculosis?
We review the state of knowledge regarding the role of IL-17 in tuberculosis (TB). IL-17 is clearly induced following exposure to mycobacteria in mice and humans and therefore its role in both protection and the immunopathological consequences of infection must be fully defined. IL-17-producing T cells can be seen in both mice and humans and these cytokine-producing cells are dependent to a large degree upon IL-23. Based on what we know of the function of IL-17 and the nature of TB, it would be surprising if this were a disease where IL-17 would have a dramatic impact; indeed the experimental data suggests that it is not required for control of bacterial growth. However, while it is clear that IL-17 is present during TB, its function(s) is not yet known. Key questions that will help elucidate function include - the role the mycobacteria plays in induction and regulation of the IL-17 response and the role IL-17 plays in modulating the inflammatory response during chronic disease.
KeywordsMycobacterium Tuberculosis Chronic Granulomatous Disease Mycobacterial Infection Bacterial Burden Granulomatous Response
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