[Answer] How are capsules used to evade host defenses?

Answer: Some organisms have a capsule that inhibits phagocytosis
How are capsules used to evade host defenses?
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T. pallidum is believed to avoid recognition by antibodies by coating its surface with host molecules until it has invaded tissues such as the central nervous system where it is less easily reached by antibodies. Finally many viruses have evolved mechanisms to subvert various arms of the immune system.
When S. aureus first infect the host there is a robust activation of the host innate immune responses. Generally S. aureus can survive this initial interaction due to the expression of a wide array of virulence factors that interfere with the host innate immune defenses .
Given its location as the first bacterial component to interact with the host the bacterial capsule serves multiple roles and is often integral in evasion of host defense systems. Specifically sugary capsules inhibit binding of complement and act to cover potential immunogenic membrane proteins that would normally stimulate immune cells to kill the bacteria ( Cress et al. 2014 ).
The genes necessary for capsule synthesis are downregulated during early infection to allow for invasion of host cells. However the bacteria produce capsule once again upon entering the bloodstream in order to survive in the presence of immune factors such as complement that are found there. …

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