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Microbiota in the Gastrointestinal Tract

1
Medical Clinic 1, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Ulmenweg 18, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
2
Hector Center of Excellence for Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Med. Sci. 2018, 6(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci6040116
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Potential of the Microbiome)
Gut microbiota are permanent residents of humans with the highest concentrations being found in human colon. Humans get the first contact with bacteria at delivery, and microbiota are subject of permanent change during the life. The individual microbiota pattern is highly variable and varying environmental conditions, e.g., diets, antigen exposure, infections, or medication, as well as genetics, age, or hygiene factors, strongly influence the bacterial community. A fine interaction between the host and microbiota determines the outcome of health or disease. The gut immune system is constantly challenged to distinguish between commensal non-invasive bacteria and potential pathogens. Goblet cells produce mucins that prevent most gut bacteria from penetrating through intestinal epithelial barrier, and Paneth cells are the main supplier of anti-microbial defensins. Gut epithelial and immune cells recognize bacteria via surface markers and they initiate an adequate immune answer. A dysbiosis is noticed in several diseases, but the crucial role in pathogenesis has to be proven. Prebiotics or probiotics are discussed as valuable tools to preserve or restore a healthy gut community. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbiota; gastrointestinal tract microbiota; gastrointestinal tract
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Dieterich, W.; Schink, M.; Zopf, Y. Microbiota in the Gastrointestinal Tract. Med. Sci. 2018, 6, 116.

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