B lymphocytes are central players in the immune response; canonically, they have been recognized as precursors of antibody-producing cells: plasma cells. Recent findings have shown that the role of B lymphocytes goes far beyond the production of antibodies. There are different subtypes of B lymphocytes with different participations in innate and adaptive responses that include the recognition of the antigen, its processing, and its presentation to T lymphocytes, as well as the production of cytokines that impact and modulate the response toward the pathogen. Traditionally, it has been considered that B lymphocytes do not have phagocytic abilities that allow them to internalize, to process, or even to be infected by bacterial pathogens. The new information has shown that B lymphocytes can be readily infected by bacterial pathogens like Salmonella, Francisella, Moraxella, and Mycobacterium, among others, and respond to those infections. Some of the recent advances on these topics will be presented in this chapter.
Part of the book: Lymphocyte Updates
Biodeterioration is defined as the undesirable change in the properties of materials caused by the activity of biological agents. This process is complex and involves alterations in the physicochemical and mechanical properties by the action of organisms and depends on the microorganisms involved, type of substrate, and environmental conditions. The biodeterioration of cultural heritage is the physical or chemical damage caused by microorganisms on objects, monuments, or buildings that belong to the cultural heritage. Among the main materials that can be affected are: stone, metal, ceramic, polymers, and other materials. Among the main undesirable effects to these materials are: discoloration, dissolution, rupture, and efflorescence among others. Biofilms represent the usual form of growth of bacteria and consist of communities of microorganisms that grow attached to an inert surface or a living tissue, surrounded by an extracellular matrix that they themselves synthesize. The importance of biodeterioration by biofilms is mainly related to changes in pH values, ionic concentrations, oxide-reduction reactions in the biofilm thickness, and in the interface with the substrate and enzymatic degradation. This chapter presents evidence of the participation of biofilms and associated mechanisms in biodeterioration as well as the main prevention and control strategies.