Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30543938
Infect. Genet. Evol. 2018 Dec;
Over the long course of evolution from a probable environmental reservoir, the pathogen that we know today as Mycobacterium tuberculosis has become fully capable of adapting to the life inside host cells by evading and modifying their responses to infection. Factors contributing to the success of this pathogen are numerous and thanks to a large body of work accumulated over the past decades, we are closer to understanding the remarkable complexity of tuberculosis pathogenesis. The unique type VII secretion systems and various complex lipids of the cell envelope have emerged as some of the most important and most studied factors in this regard. This review attempts to summarize recent findings on these and other virulence factors, while discussing their evolution in different closely related tuberculosis-causing bacteria as well, with the aim of exploring the processes which led M. tuberculosis to becoming one of the deadliest infections agents.