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Trends Microbiol. 2003 Apr;11(4):148-50.

Commensal bacteria make a difference.

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Institut für Molekulare Infektionsbiologie, Röntgenring 11, D-97070, Würzburg, Germany.


Nowhere is the relationship between microorganisms and eukaryotes as diverse, intimate and clinically relevant as in the gastrointestinal tract. An estimated 500-1000 mostly anaerobic species reside in the intestine, approaching enormous densities of 10(11)-10(12) organisms per gram colon content. The commensal interactions between intestinal microorganisms and animal hosts have been difficult to study in the past because of the diversity of microorganisms involved and because of the lack of culturability that accompanies many microbial consortia. However, recent work has provided new insights into these interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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