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Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2015 Aug;63(4):287-98. doi: 10.1007/s00005-015-0332-3. Epub 2015 Feb 15.

Human Microbiome: When a Friend Becomes an Enemy.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.

Abstract

The microorganisms that inhabit humans are very diverse on different body sites and tracts. Each specific niche contains a unique composition of the microorganisms that are important for a balanced human physiology. Microbial cells outnumber human cells by tenfold and they function as an invisible organ that is called the microbiome. Excessive use of antibiotics and unhealthy diets pose a serious danger to the composition of the microbiome. An imbalance in the microbial community may cause pathological conditions of the digestive system such as obesity, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease; of the skin such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne and of the cardiovascular system such as atherosclerosis. An unbalanced microbiome has also been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and multiple sclerosis. While the microbiome has a strong impact on the development of the host immune system, it is suspected that it can also be the cause of certain autoimmune diseases, including diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Despite the enormous progress in the field, the interactions between the human body and its microbiome still remain largely unknown. A better characterization of the interactions may allow for a deeper understanding of human disease states and help to elucidate a possible association between the composition of the microbiome and certain pathologies. This review focuses on general findings that are related to the area and provides no detailed information about the case of study. The aim is to give some initial insight on the studies of the microbiome and its connection with human health.

PMID:
25682593
PMCID:
PMC4499106
DOI:
10.1007/s00005-015-0332-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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