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Annu Rev Virol. 2014;1:55-69.

Viruses and the Microbiota.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390.


Every surface of the human body is colonized by a diverse microbial community called the microbiota, yet the impact of microbiota on viruses is unclear. Recent research has advanced our understanding of how microbiota influence viral infection. Microbiota inhibit infection of some viruses and promote infection of other viruses. These effects can occur through direct and/or indirect effects on the host and/or virus. This review examines the known effects and mechanisms by which the microbiota influence mammalian virus infections. Furthermore, we suggest strategies for future research on how microbiota impact viruses. Overall, microbiota may influence a wide array of viruses through diverse mechanisms, making the study of virus-microbiota interactions a fertile area for future investigation.


bacteria; innate immunity; microbiota; virus

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