The video below mentions whether the dendritic should call in a 'anti-virus force' or an 'army of bacteria killers'. The video goes on to talk about how bacteria is killed, using B-cells, but there's no mention of cytotoxic T-cells. Is the cytotoxic T-cells only for viral infections or is it for both?

https://youtu.be/zQGOcOUBi6s?t=2m42s <-video is time stamped.

I don't study biology and the internet is confusing sometimes.


I didn't watch the video, but the answer you're probably looking for is that cytotoxic T cells are for intracellular infections -- that is, CTL target pathogens that grow inside one's own cells. All viruses grow inside cells. Some bacteria also grow inside cells (e.g. tuberculosis, Listeria); those bacteria can (often) be effectively attacked by CTL. Many bacteria do not replicate inside cells, and for those, CTL aren't effective, but B cells (via antibody) and T helper cells (by recruiting other cell types and modifying inflammation) can still be effective.

  • $\begingroup$ This is all true. I would also add that an important function of cytotoxic T cells is to kill abnormal cells - such as cancers. $\endgroup$ Dec 15 '17 at 13:28

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