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Ann Ital Chir. 2011 Sep-Oct;82(5):361-8.

From gut microflora imbalance to mycobacteria infection: is there a relationship with chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases?

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1
Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Abstract

The gut of a healthy adult harbours a myriad of different microbial species. It is estimated that approximately 10 14 are present in total bacterial colony forming units (CFU). Each colony colonizes a specific intestinal tract. In healthy adult, the main control of intestinal bacterial colonization occurs through gastric acidity but also other factors can influence the intestinal microenvironment such as pH, temperature, competition among different bacterial strains, peristalsis, drugs, radiotherapy and much more. Impaired microbial homeostasis leads to an alteration of the permeability of tissue, together with the activation of the intestinal immune system MALT (mucosal associated lymphoid tissue). In this regard we discuss the increasing experimental evidences of the role of commensal microbiota in the activation of specific intestinal immunocompetent cells. The aforementioned micro-environmental changes provide the substrate for the etiopathogenetic outbreak of numerous pathologies of gastro-intestinal tract, such as intestinal chronic inflammation (Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis), together with a miscellany of extra intestinal disorders. This article is an overview of the latest scientific findings about the close causal relationship between intestinal microbial flora and inflammatory bowel diseases or other extra-intestinal diseases; it is also mentioned the possible relationship between mycobacteria and Chron's disease. Finally we analyse the beneficial role of probiotics.

PMID:
21988043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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