Can innate immunity be enhanced to treat microbial infections?

B. Brett Finlay, Robert Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

229 Citations (Scopus)


Innate immunity is a highly effective set of conserved mechanisms used by multicellular organisms to recognize and counter the constant threat of microbial infections. There is evidence to indicate that innate responses are key to controlling most infections, as well as contributing to inflammatory responses that are central components of disease. In addition to Toll-like-receptor-mediated effects, many other mechanisms are used to recognize and respond to microbial threats. Natural molecules such as CpG DNA and small cationic peptides trigger innate responses that help to control infection. This indicates there is potential to utilize such compounds to activate or enhance innate responses as antimicrobials. Harnessing this activity, without associated harmful inflammatory responses, is the main challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this