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Review

The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies

1
Danone Nutricia Research, Uppsalalaan 12, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Amedeo Amedei and Maurizio Battino
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030886
Received: 16 December 2020 / Revised: 2 March 2021 / Accepted: 3 March 2021 / Published: 9 March 2021
Infectious diseases and infections remain a leading cause of death in low-income countries and a major risk to vulnerable groups, such as infants and the elderly. The immune system plays a crucial role in the susceptibility, persistence, and clearance of these infections. With 70–80% of immune cells being present in the gut, there is an intricate interplay between the intestinal microbiota, the intestinal epithelial layer, and the local mucosal immune system. In addition to the local mucosal immune responses in the gut, it is increasingly recognized that the gut microbiome also affects systemic immunity. Clinicians are more and more using the increased knowledge about these complex interactions between the immune system, the gut microbiome, and human pathogens. The now well-recognized impact of nutrition on the composition of the gut microbiota and the immune system elucidates the role nutrition can play in improving health. This review describes the mechanisms involved in maintaining the intricate balance between the microbiota, gut health, the local immune response, and systemic immunity, linking this to infectious diseases throughout life, and highlights the impact of nutrition in infectious disease prevention and treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: infectious diseases; microbiome; gut health; mucosal immunity; systemic immunity; nutrition infectious diseases; microbiome; gut health; mucosal immunity; systemic immunity; nutrition
MDPI and ACS Style

Wiertsema, S.P.; van Bergenhenegouwen, J.; Garssen, J.; Knippels, L.M.J. The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients 2021, 13, 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030886

AMA Style

Wiertsema SP, van Bergenhenegouwen J, Garssen J, Knippels LMJ. The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients. 2021; 13(3):886. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030886

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wiertsema, Selma P., Jeroen van Bergenhenegouwen, Johan Garssen, and Leon M.J. Knippels 2021. "The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies" Nutrients 13, no. 3: 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030886

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