Extracellular vesicles (EVs), or exosomes, are nanovesicles of endocytic origin that carry host and pathogen-derived protein, nucleic acid, and lipid cargos. They are secreted by most cell types and play important roles in normal cell-to-cell communications but can also spread pathogen- and host-derived molecules during infections to alter immune responses and pathophysiological processes. New research is beginning to decipher how EVs influence viral and bacterial pathogenesis. In this review, we will describe how EVs influence viral and bacterial pathogenesis by spreading pathogen-derived factors and how they can promote and inhibit the immune response to these pathogens. We will also discuss the emerging potential of EVs as diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
- Extracellular vesicles
- Immune system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)