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Cell. 2014 Mar 27;157(1):121-41. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.03.011.

Role of the microbiota in immunity and inflammation.

Author information

1
Immunity at Barrier Sites Initiative, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: ybelkaid@niaid.nih.gov.
2
Immunity at Barrier Sites Initiative, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; Mucosal Immunology Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract

The microbiota plays a fundamental role on the induction, training, and function of the host immune system. In return, the immune system has largely evolved as a means to maintain the symbiotic relationship of the host with these highly diverse and evolving microbes. When operating optimally, this immune system-microbiota alliance allows the induction of protective responses to pathogens and the maintenance of regulatory pathways involved in the maintenance of tolerance to innocuous antigens. However, in high-income countries, overuse of antibiotics, changes in diet, and elimination of constitutive partners, such as nematodes, may have selected for a microbiota that lack the resilience and diversity required to establish balanced immune responses. This phenomenon is proposed to account for some of the dramatic rise in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders in parts of the world where our symbiotic relationship with the microbiota has been the most affected.

PMID:
24679531
PMCID:
PMC4056765
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2014.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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