Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Mucosal immunology

Infection induces friendly fire

Our immune system usually ignores 'friendly' gut bacteria. But when infection with a pathogen damages the intestine's mucosal lining, the resident microbes can invade the body, inducing immune responses directed at themselves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Breaching the barrier.


  1. Hand, T. W. et al. Science 337, 1553–1556 (2012).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Pepper, M. & Jenkins, M. K. Nature Immunol. 12, 467–471 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Duchmann, R. et al. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 102, 448–455 (1995).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Khor, B., Gardet, A. & Xavier, R. J. Nature 474, 307–317 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Spehlmann, M. E. et al. Inflamm. Bowel Dis. 14, 968–976 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Lathrop, S. K. et al. Nature 478, 250–254 (2011).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Atarashi, K. et al. Science 331, 337–341 (2011).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Geuking, M. B. et al. Immunity 34, 794–806 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Ivanov, I. I. et al. Cell 139, 485–498 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Cadwell, K. et al. Cell 141, 1135–1145 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Qin, J. et al. Nature 464, 59–65 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to David Masopust or Vaiva Vezys.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Masopust, D., Vezys, V. Infection induces friendly fire. Nature 490, 41–43 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing