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Pathog Dis. 2016 Jul;74(5). pii: ftw051. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftw051. Epub 2016 May 31.

Microbiota and pathogen 'pas de deux': setting up and breaking down barriers to intestinal infection.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.
2
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA melissakendall@virginia.edu.

Abstract

The gut microbiota plays essential roles in human health and disease. In this review, we focus on the role of the intestinal microbiota in promoting resistance to infection by bacterial pathogens as well as how pathogens overcome this barrier. We discuss how the resident microbiota restricts growth and colonization of invading pathogens by limiting availability of nutrients and through generation of a hostile environment. Additionally, we examine how microbiota-derived signaling molecules interfere with bacterial virulence. In turn, we discuss how pathogens exploit non-competitive metabolites to replicate in vivo as well as to precisely control virulence and cause disease. This bacterial two step of creating and overcoming challenges important in preventing and establishing infection highlights the complexities of elucidating interactions between the commensal bacteria and pathogens. Better understanding of microbiota-pathogen interplay will have significant implications for developing novel therapeutics to treat infectious diseases.

KEYWORDS:

competition; metabolites; microbiota; pathogens; signaling; virulence

PMID:
27252177
PMCID:
PMC5985477
DOI:
10.1093/femspd/ftw051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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