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Host-Bacterial Symbiosis in Health and Disease

Chow, Janet and Lee, S. Melanie and Shen, Yue and Khosravi, Arya and Mazmanian, Sarkis K. (2010) Host-Bacterial Symbiosis in Health and Disease. In: Mucosal Immunity. Advances in Immunology. No.107. Elsevier , Amsterdam, pp. 243-274. ISBN 978-0-12-381300-8. PMCID PMC3152488.

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All animals live in symbiosis. Shaped by eons of co-evolution, host bacterial associations have developed into prosperous relationships creating mechanisms for mutual benefits to both microbe and host. No better example exists in biology than the astounding numbers of bacteria harbored by the lower gastrointestinal tract of mammals. The mammalian gut represents a complex ecosystem consisting of an extraordinary number of resident commensal bacteria existing in homeostasis with the host’s immune system. Most impressive about this relationship may be the concept that the host not only tolerates, but has evolved to require colonization by beneficial microorganisms, known as commensals, for various aspects of immune development and function. The microbiota provides critical signals that promote maturation of immune cells and tissues, leading to protection from infections by pathogens. Gut bacteria also appear to contribute to non-infectious immune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmunity. How the microbiota influences host immune responses is an active area of research with important implications for human health. This review synthesizes emerging findings and concepts that describe the mutualism between the microbiota and mammals, specifically emphasizing the role of gut bacteria in shaping an immune response that mediates the balance between health and disease. Unlocking how beneficial bacteria affect the development of the immune system may lead to novel and natural therapies based on harnessing the immunomodulatory properties of the microbiota.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Shen, Yue0000-0003-1659-7035
Mazmanian, Sarkis K.0000-0003-2713-1513
Additional Information:© 2010 Elsevier Inc. Available online 27 October 2010.
Series Name:Advances in Immunology
Issue or Number:107
PubMed Central ID:PMC3152488
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110328-100709399
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Janet Chow, S. Melanie Lee, Yue Shen, Arya Khosravi, Sarkis K. Mazmanian, Host-Bacterial Symbiosis in Health and Disease, In: Sidonia Fagarasan and Andrea Cerutti, Editor(s), Advances in Immunology, Academic Press, 2010, Volume 107, Mucosal Immunity, Pages 243-274, ISSN 0065-2776, ISBN 9780123813008, DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-381300-8.00008-3. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23121
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:29 Mar 2011 20:19
Last Modified:17 Apr 2020 17:03

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