Mycobacterium and the coat of many lipids
Pathogenic Mycobacterium reside inside vacuoles in their host macrophages. These vacuoles fail to fuse with lysosomes yet interact with early endosomes. Glycoconjugates released by the intracellular bacilli traffic through the host cell and are released through exocytosis. These molecules represent both antigens for immune recognition and modulators of immune function. The molecules play key roles in the induction and maintenance of the granuloma, a tissue response that limits bacterial spread yet ensures persistence of the infection.