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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2006 Apr;46(3):313-9.

Bacteriophage translocation.

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L. Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wrocław, Poland.


The occurrence of phages in the human body, especially in the gastrointestinal tract, raises the question of their potential role in the physiology and pathology of this system. Especially important is the issue of whether phages can pass the intestinal wall and migrate to lymph, peripheral blood, and internal organs and, if so, the effects such a phenomenon could have (such passage by bacteria, known as bacterial translocation, has been shown to cause various disturbances in humans, from immune defects to sepsis). Available data from the literature support the assumption that phage translocation can take place and may have some immunomodulatory effects. In addition, phages of the gut may play a protective role by inhibiting local immune reactions to antigens derived from gut flora.

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