The human intestine is a biodiverse environment in which coordination, communication, and symbiotic relationships take place among hundreds of bacterial species and the host. Pathogenic bacteria may colonize the gut upon consumption of contaminated foods, and subsequent illness is often accompanied by a host inflammatory response. While a strong inflammatory response is initiated to battle infection, many bacteria simultaneously evade immune detection and killing as a survival strategy. This review highlights the interplay between the host induction of inflammation and the bacterial activation of anti-inflammatory signaling that occurs during pathogenic bacterial infection of the intestines. Pathogenic bacteria species covered here include Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli and Yersinia enterocolitica. A thorough understanding of host immune responses as well as bacterial immune evasion strategies could provide more targets for future therapies.
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