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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2012 Sep;41(3):581-602. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Bacterial flora as a cause or treatment of chronic diarrhea.

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  • 1Division of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Policlinico A. Gemelli Hospital - Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


Intestinal microflora can be considered an organ of the body. It has several functions in the human gut, mostly metabolic and immunologic, and constantly interacts with the intestinal mucosa in a delicate equilibrium. Chronic diarrhea is associated with an alteration of gut microbiota when a pathogen invades the gut and also in several conditions associated with intestinal mucosal damage or bowel dysfunction, as in inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or small bowel bacterial overgrowth. This article discusses the basis of gut microbiota modulation. Evidence for the efficacy of gut microbiota modulation in chronic conditions is also discussed.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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