Macrophages are considered a critical component of innate immunity against intracellular pathogens. Although macrophages have historically been viewed as monocyte-derived and terminally differentiated cells, recent progress has revealed that many tissue-resident macrophages are embryonically seeded, self-renewed, and perform homeostatic functions associated with M2-like activation programs. There is evidence that tissue-resident macrophages (TRMs) maintain their M2-like phenotype even in an infection-driven pro-inflammatory environment. In this regard, several intracellular pathogens are shown to exploit M2-like TRMs as replicative niches to evade pathogen-specific immunity. This knowledge provides a new perspective to understand the chronicity of infections and develop therapeutic strategies which can selectively target TRMs.

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