Antibiotics, microbiota, and immune defense

Author: Ubeda, C.; Pamer, E.G.

Description: The gastrointestinal tract microbiota contributes to the development and differentiation of the mammalian immune system. The composition of the microbiota affects immune responses and affects susceptibility to infection by intestinal pathogens and development of allergic and inflammatory bowel diseases. Antibiotic administration, while facilitating clearance of targeted infections, also perturbs commensal microbial communities and decreases host resistance to antibiotic-resistant microbes. Here, we review recent advances that begin to define the interactions between complex intestinal microbial populations and the mammalian immune system and how this relation is perturbed by antibiotic administration. We further discuss how antibiotic-induced disruption of the microbiota and immune homeostasis can lead to disease and we review strategies to restore immune defenses during antibiotic administration.

Subject headings: Animals; Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology; Homeostasis/drug effects; Humans; Immune System/drug effects; Immunity, Mucosal/drug effects; Intestinal Mucosa/drug effects/immunology/microbiology; Metagenome/drug effects; Microbiome

Publication year: 2012

Journal or book title: Trends in Immunology

Volume: 33

Issue: 9

Pages: 459-466

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 3020