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Phagocyte-Pathogen Interactions: Macrophages and the Host Response to Infection

Editors: David G. Russell1, Siamon Gordon2
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Affiliations: 1: College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; 2: Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Hardcover, Electronic
Publication Year: 2009

Category: Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology; Bacterial Pathogenesis

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Featuring contributions from eminent immunologists, microbial geneticists, and cell and molecular biologists, this single volume brings together a current understanding of how phagocytes recognize and respond to potentially pathogenic microbes. It explores and explains the complex biology underlying the different phagocyte lineages that enables them to sense and respond to their environments.

Several chapters in this volume review the properties and functions of the phagosome itself, which are intimately linked to the diverse roles it fulfills in the mechanisms of phagocytosis and host response. Authors explore the link between innate immunity and acquired immunity, and the development of specific cellular and humoral immune responses. Finally, several chapters explore the latest developments in the use of a variety of models of host-pathogen interaction.

Drawing from such disciplines as cell and molecular biology, microbiology, and immunology, this book helps readers gain a new appreciation and understanding of the role of the complex interactions between the microbial pathogen and its host’s multifaceted defenders.

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Microbiology Today

17 July 2013

This book could reasonably be subtitled Everything you ever wanted to know about macrophages and much more. The 78 microbiologists/immunologists/geneticists/cell biologists/molecular pathogenicity experts drawn from laboratories around the world have contributed reviews, averaging about 15-20 pages in length, to a volume that is encyclopedic in content, up-to-date and educative. Lest the subtitle delude the reader into thinking that this book concentrates solely on macrophages in terms of phagocyte-pathogen interactions, the reality is quite the opposite. The opening three chapters deal with neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells. The first review on Neutrophils forever immediately engages the reader with deslightful titles to sections such as 'Neutrophilic granulocytes, what is in a name?' and 'TLR and NLR signaling who is calling?' By the end of the review on dendritic cells, I felt confident to lecture on these professional antigen-presenting cells that had always been somewhat of a mystery to me. 

Sections II and III deal with all aspects of phagocytosis. If you want to read a comprehensive review on C-type lectins, integrins, toll-like receptors or on signaling for phagocytosis, membrane trafficking or actin-based mobility, the information is all to hand. The chapter on functional analysis of the intraphagosomal environment in relation to Salmonella and Mycobacterium illustrates how much, and how little is known about phagosomal function, and reviews the use of fluorescent reporters that allow measurement of PH, enzyme activities and phagosome lysosome fusion, which may lead to a better understanding of this phagocyte-pathogen interface.

The fourth section of this book deals with bridging between the innate immune response and the acquired immune response. The six reviews embodying these aspects of phagocyte-pathogen interactions lead the reader through the complexities and roles of lipoxins and cytokines. My complete ignorance of the fact that not all activated macrophages are identical and that different populations of macrophages with distinct physiologies develop in response to different stimuli was erased in an afternoon's read. I also learned that NEMO is not just the name of a clownfish in an animated film, but a protein that allows the interaction of modulators of NF-xB, resulting in its correct function. If you haven't heard of the 'tether-and-tickle mechanism' for apoptotic cell uptake, chapter 21 should take your fancy.

As one who has studied various aspects of microbial pathogenesis for most of my working life, section V on Pathogens of the professional phagocyte was compulsive reading. The contributions dealing with bacteria, yeasts, protozoa and helminth infection are all written by internationally recognized researchers in these fields. Having chapters dealing with such a variety of micro-organisms brings out parallels and differences effectively.

The final section of the book deals with models of host-pathogen interactions. I found the chapter on Dictyostelium discoideum to be particularly stimulating and though-provoking. By the time I had finished reading this chapter, the authors had more than convinced me of the relevance of this model system. Contributions of Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio as model systems for phagocytosis and the study of phagocyte-pathogen interactions were likewise refreshing and interesting. The final contribution links whole genome RNA screening in Drosophila macrophage-like cells with new insights into macrophage function.

The Editors of this treatise are to be congratulated on bringing together a wealth of information. This is a comprehensive text of use to final year undergraduates, postgraduates, postdoctoral scientists and experienced researchers. In spite of the price, it represents excellent value for the money - highly recommended.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Cyril J. Smyth, Trinity College, Dublin

Review Date: February 2010

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