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Summary

Autophagy, an intracellular degradation process highly conserved from yeast to humans, is viewed as an important defence mechanism to clear intracellular bacteria. However, recent work has shown that autophagy may have different roles during different bacterial infections that restrict bacterial replication (antibacterial autophagy), act in cell autonomous signalling (non-bacterial autophagy) or support bacterial replication (pro-bacterial autophagy). This review will focus on newfound interactions of autophagy and pathogenic bacteria, highlighting that, in addition to delivering bacteria to the lysosome, autophagy responding to bacterial invasion may have a much broader role in mediating disease outcome.