Clinical implications of mast cell-bacteria interaction.
Mast cells are traditionally known for mediating allergic reactions. In addition, these cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of clinical conditions such as atopic and contact dermatitis, bullous pemphigoid, fibrotic lung disease, neurofibromatosis, psoriasis, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease, but their role in host defense was an enigma until recently. Owing to the strategic location of mast cells at the host environment interface, their role in bacterial infections has been studied by a number of investigators. Latest reports show that mast cells have an ability to modulate the host's innate immune response to infectious agents. This review discusses the clinical implications of mast cell-bacteria interactions.
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