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Microorganisms 2015, 3(4), 913-932;

Metabolic Interactions in the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT): Host, Commensal, Probiotics, and Bacteriophage Influences

Medlab Clinical Ltd., Sydney 2015 Australia
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carl Gordon Johnston
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Gut Microbiota Metabolic Interactions)
Full-Text   |   PDF [955 KB, uploaded 17 December 2015]   |  


Life on this planet has been intricately associated with bacterial activity at all levels of evolution and bacteria represent the earliest form of autonomous existence. Plants such as those from the Leguminosae family that form root nodules while harboring nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria are a primordial example of symbiotic existence. Similarly, cooperative activities between bacteria and animals can also be observed in multiple domains, including the most inhospitable geographical regions of the planet such as Antarctica and the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. In humans bacteria are often classified as either beneficial or pathogenic and in this regard we posit that this artificial nomenclature is overly simplistic and as such almost misinterprets the complex activities and inter-relationships that bacteria have with the environment as well as the human host and the plethora of biochemical activities that continue to be identified. We further suggest that in humans there are neither pathogenic nor beneficial bacteria, just bacteria embraced by those that tolerate the host and those that do not. The densest and most complex association exists in the human gastrointestinal tract, followed by the oral cavity, respiratory tract, and skin, where bacteria—pre- and post-birth—instruct the human cell in the fundamental language of molecular biology that normally leads to immunological tolerance over a lifetime. The overall effect of this complex output is the elaboration of a beneficial milieu, an environment that is of equal or greater importance than the bacterium in maintaining homeostasis. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteria; metabolite signaling; dysbiosis; gastrointestinal tract bacteria; metabolite signaling; dysbiosis; gastrointestinal tract

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Vitetta, L.; Hall, S.; Coulson, S. Metabolic Interactions in the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT): Host, Commensal, Probiotics, and Bacteriophage Influences. Microorganisms 2015, 3, 913-932.

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