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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2012 Oct;10(10):717-25. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2873. Epub 2012 Sep 3.

The keystone-pathogen hypothesis.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA. geoh@upenn.edu

Abstract

Recent studies have highlighted the importance of the human microbiome in health and disease. However, for the most part the mechanisms by which the microbiome mediates disease, or protection from it, remain poorly understood. The keystone-pathogen hypothesis holds that certain low-abundance microbial pathogens can orchestrate inflammatory disease by remodelling a normally benign microbiota into a dysbiotic one. In this Opinion article, we critically assess the available literature that supports this hypothesis, which may provide a novel conceptual basis for the development of targeted diagnostics and treatments for complex dysbiotic diseases.

PMID:
22941505
PMCID:
PMC3498498
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro2873
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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