Chapter 2 Kill the Bacteria...and Also Their Messengers?

Robert Munford, Mingfang Lu, Alan Varley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We consider here a previously neglected aspect of recovery from infectious diseases: how animals dispose of the dead microbes in their tissues. For one of the most important disease-causing microorganisms, Gram-negative bacteria, there is now evidence that the host catabolism of a key microbial molecule is essential for full recovery. As might be expected, it is the same bacterial molecule that animals sense to detect the presence of Gram-negative bacteria in their tissues, the cell wall lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Here, we discuss current knowledge about LPS sensing with emphasis on the host enzyme that inactivates this microbial "messenger" molecule. We also consider the possibility that the rate at which stimulatory microbial molecules undergo inactivation may influence the duration and severity of diseases caused by other infectious agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-48
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Immunology
StatePublished - 2009


  • Acyloxyacyl hydrolase
  • AOAH
  • Detoxification
  • Endotoxin
  • Immunosuppression
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Recovery from infection
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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